🌿🌳 Civil penalties for polluters under the Trump administration plummeted during the past fiscal year to the lowest average level since 1994, according to a new analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
In the two decades before President Trump took office, EPA civil fines averaged more than $500 million a year, when adjusted for inflation. Last year’s total was 85 percent below that amount — $72 million.
A decline in the number of criminal investigators, which began during the Obama administration, has taken a toll. As of October, a Washington Post analysis showed, the EPA’s enforcement division was among the most affected by a broader exodus at the agency fueled by buyouts and retirements. It has lost at least 80 people since Trump entered office.
Top official says the more EPA can bring companies into compliance with laws, “the fewer enforcement actions we need to take.”
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