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Reps. McNerney, Scott & Quigley Urge EPA to Slow Rulemaking Rushed Through During COVID-19 Pandemic

Apr 8, 2020
Press Release
Members lead letter, signed by 78 lawmakers, urging EPA Administrator Wheeler to grant all Americans, including health professionals, adequate time to participate in rulemaking pertaining to public health in light of the coronavirus crisis.

Stockton, CA –  Representatives Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Mike Quigley (IL-05) led 75 Members of Congress in sending a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging him to extend deadlines to allow for informed rulemaking. As Americans—including doctors, researchers, and public health experts—respond to the global coronavirus pandemic, the EPA is moving forward hastily with a number of environmental and public health rules, including ones that would jeopardize public and environmental health.

“As the world continues to turn its collective attention to responding to the global coronavirus pandemic, we write to express our deep concern that the EPA is proceeding with rulemaking procedures that do not ensure that ‘interested persons’ are afforded an ‘opportunity to participate,’ as is the expectation of the law,” the Members wrote.

The letter urges the EPA to extend their public comment periods by at least 45 days beyond the end of the declared national emergency, including comment periods which closed between March 13th to present, as well as those that are still open. Doing so will ensure that all Americans have an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process.

“The American people have a right to expect that their government will protect the general welfare by basing regulations on the best available information, including input from impacted communities, scientists, and other subject area experts, in accordance with requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act…Rushing forward with these regulations as planned, in spite of this public health crisis, would be contrary to the spirit of the EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment,” wrote the Members.

The letter was signed by Reps. Scott (VA), Quigley, McNerney, Lowenthal, Barragán, Tonko, Pingree, Casten, Wexton, Connolly, Lee (CA), Rush, Kuster, Velázquez, Chu, Price, McGovern, Krishnamoorthi, Welch, Bonamici, Hayes, Cartwright, McCollum, Haaland, Beyer, Doyle, Napolitano, Grijalva, Wasserman Schultz, Norton, Soto, Wild, Huffman, McEachin, Blumenauer, García (IL), Cohen, Porter, Blunt Rochester, Payne, Cisneros, Cárdenas, Jayapal, Espaillat, Case, Levin (CA), Raskin, Larsen, Moore, Sires, Pocan, Bass, Beatty, Johnson (GA), Scanlon, Muscarsel-Powell, DeFazio, Adams, Tlaib, Speier, Pappas, Kennedy, Dingell, Peters, Foster, Fudge, Neguse, Luria, Lieu, and Wilson (FL), Scott (GA), Matsui, Sarbanes, Davis, Jackson Lee, Schakowsky, Moulton, and DelBene.

Full text of the letter can be found here.

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.