Former EPA heads warn on Trump rollbacks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmental Protection Agency heads under three previous Republican presidents joined their Democratic counterparts Tuesday in telling lawmakers they were concerned by the Trump administration’s rapid rollbacks of environmental protections.

“The EPA on the track it’s on … is endangering public health,” Christine Todd Whitman, EPA administrator under George W. Bush, told the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee. Whitman said she was “deeply concerned that five decades of environmental progress are at risk because of the attitudes and approach of this administration.”

Lee Thomas and William K. Reilly, EPA chiefs under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, respectively, also spoke, as did Obama-era EPA leader Gina McCarthy. The unusual testimony came after seven of the 10 surviving, Senate-confirmed past heads of the 49-year-old EPA signed a letter urging lawmakers to work to make the EPA focus on its mission of protecting public health and the environment.