Curtis Tate Published

Shutdown Would Curb EPA’s Reviews, Inspections And Enforcement

Pollution is visible in a shallow stream surrounded by brown vegetation and barren trees on an overcast day.
Pollution in Five Mile Creek in North Birmingham, Alabama.
Black Warrior Riverkeeper

Public health, safety and the environment are at risk from a government shutdown, according to a statement from the White House.

Should Congress fail to keep the federal government open this weekend, most of the 14,000 employees of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would be furloughed.

EPA inspections of chemical facilities, hazardous waste sites and drinking water systems would cease.

The agency would be unable to review permits under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act or enforce compliance with those laws.

It would have to slow or stop cleanup activities at Superfund sites, some of the most polluted places in the country.

The EPA would also halt environmental reviews of infrastructure projects. Its emergency response and disaster assistance functions would also be curtailed.