, , , , , , ,

Wisconsin Conservationists Worry About EPA’s Future Under President Trump

Many Fear Environmental Protections Will Be Weakened Or Eliminated By President-Elect

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency flag
Paul A. Fagan (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Environmental advocates gathered in Eau Claire this week to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do more to protect Wisconsin waters from pollution. But with the election of Republican Donald Trump as president of the United States, some worried the EPA will be muzzled or eliminated entirely.

EPA Regional Administrator Bob Kaplan listened intently Tuesday evening as a room of around 200 conservationists decried what they called lax pollution enforcement in Wisconsin at the hands of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a Republican led state Legislature.

Sierra Club and Midwest Environmental Advocates representatives invited Kaplan to the listening session sponsored by the environmental advocacy groups from Wisconsin to discuss concerns over water quality and potential Republican rollbacks of environmental protections.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Some who attended, including Jim Swanson of Menomonie, also voiced concern about what the EPA will look like under a Trump presidency.

“If that same thing holds forth, the whole country is going to go Wisconsin’s way, which is from one of the leaders in protecting the environment to, basically, a cesspool,” Swanson said at the meeting at the Chippewa Valley Technical College.

However, Trump is a wildcard who may not stick to extreme positions once in office, Swanson said.

Mary Dougherty of Bayfield said she also expects Trump to hobble the agency, and it’s up to concerned citizens to push back.

“We’re going to have a crippled EPA, so the question becomes who provides us our remedy? And I think it’s at that point that citizens have to really take a hard look at who’s in office, who are they electing?” Dougherty said.

Dougherty said conservationists have four years to get their ground game together and elect pro-environment candidates.