Tell Congress Environmental Laws Without Compliance Are Worthless

(Beyond pesticidesMay 16, 2021) Despite the fact that many more people die from living and working in unhealthy environments than from homicides or traffic accidents, resources devoted to preventing these deaths are lacking or even have decreased in recent years.

Tell Congress to double the budgets for environmental enforcement.

Toxic pesticide residues easily contaminate soil, water (solid and liquid) and ambient air at levels exceeding the standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The scientific literature demonstrates the long history of pesticides on the environment, including wildlife, biodiversity and human health. Pesticides can have acute and long-term health effects around the world, especially for farmers, 44% of whom are poisoned by pesticides each year. Additionally, a 2020 study attributes an estimated 385 million cases of unintentional non-fatal poisonings and 11,000 deaths per year to pesticides.

Risks to human and environmental health must be combated through strict enforcement of environmental laws. In the case of pesticides, this involves not only enforcing label restrictions in the field, but also greater care to ensure that pesticides are not registered for uses where the risks outweigh benefits, as required by law. The commitment to strengthen environmental law enforcement should begin with a doubling of the budget for these activities. President Biden’s 2023 budget proposal, which aims to create more than 1,900 new full-time positions, barely covers the 1,500 jobs the EPA cut in the first year and a half of the Trump administration. Instead, a doubling of staff levels will help EPA reduce the growing gap between workload and staff.

In addition to the EPA, other environmental agencies are in need. More investigators from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service and other agencies are needed to protect wildlife and endangered species from poachers, contamination chemicals, development and climate change. The Fish and Wildlife Service has only about 250 special agents investigating wildlife crimes, while the BLM only dedicates 70 people to criminal investigations.

Tell Congress to double the budgets for environmental enforcement.

Letter to US Representative and Senators:

As you consider President Biden’s budget requests, I ask you to address the need for environmental law enforcement. Despite the fact that many more people die from living and working in unhealthy environments than from homicides or road accidents, resources devoted to preventing these deaths are lacking or even diminished in recent years. .

Toxic pesticide residues easily contaminate soil, water and ambient air at levels exceeding the standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The scientific literature demonstrates the long history of pesticides on the environment, including wildlife, biodiversity and human health. Pesticides can have acute and long-term health effects around the world, especially for farmers, 44% of whom are poisoned by pesticides each year. Additionally, a 2020 study attributes an estimated 385 million cases of unintentional non-fatal poisonings and 11,000 deaths per year to pesticides.

Risks to human and environmental health must be combated through strict enforcement of environmental laws. In the case of pesticides, this involves not only enforcing label restrictions in the field, but also greater care to ensure that pesticides are not registered for uses where the risks outweigh benefits, as required by law. The commitment to strengthen environmental law enforcement should begin with a doubling of the budget for these activities. President Biden’s 2023 budget proposal, which aims to create more than 1,900 new full-time positions, barely covers the 1,500 jobs the EPA cut in the first year and a half of the Trump administration. Instead, a doubling of staff levels will help EPA reduce the growing gap between workload and staff.

In addition to the EPA, other environmental agencies are in need. More investigators from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service and other agencies are needed to protect wildlife and endangered species from poachers, contamination chemicals, development and climate change. The Fish and Wildlife Service has only about 250 special agents investigating wildlife crimes, while the BLM only dedicates 70 people to criminal investigations.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.