By Kevin Westerling,
In the years the U.S. EPA has worked under the Obama administration, the agency has been very active. Depending on your perspective, that may be good or bad. While some see new regulations as necessary to protect citizens and the environment (and to drive innovation in the water sector), others argue that recent actions have been overly restrictive and unduly burdensome.
The EPA under Donald Trump will look and act much differently. Both he and his pick to lead the EPA, Scott Pruitt, have been vocal critics of environmental regulations.
So with the curtain closing on 2016 and Obama’s EPA, the agency got a bit reflective. Through a story map, infographic, a message from departing EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and a Twitter chat, they celebrated the “progress made to advance clean water protection and provide Americans with safe drinking water since 2009.”
During the live #WaterProgress Twitter chat on Dec. 13, Joel Beauvais, the EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water (@EPAwater), answered questions from users while pointing to some EPA initiatives that have helped define the agency over the past eight years. Here are some highlights from the conversation.
What will "water progress" look like in the years to come? It may include rolling back some items mentioned above, but the full intentions and impact of the Trump administration's EPA have yet to be revealed. We will surely be watching.