In 2016, a main campaign promise of then candidate Donald Trump was to roll back the authority and oversight that the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) garnered under the pro-environment Obama administration.
Since being sworn into office in January 2017, President Trump has proposed a budget slashing the EPA by 31%, from a $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion.
With an Executive Order signed by President Trump, virtually rolling back Obama’s Clean Power Plan, Trump begins the process of unwinding his predecessors expansion of the EPA.
The Clean Power Plan was the centerpiece of Obama’s policies to fight global warming.
While a symbolic win for the Trump administration in the dismantling Obama’s EPA authority, how do these actions affect the local economy and recycling regulations in states like California?
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While the Environmental Protection Agency sets federal regulations, enforcement of those regulations has been a cumbersome and often unattainable task for the agency in following up with the states.
In previous administrations, states have been given funds to help with the training, those funds are boasted to be cut drastically under the Trump budget.
Without funding to implement the regulations, many states will likely turn a blind eye toward to the short-term environmental and economic impacts.
However in states like California and New York, where the state regulations are more stringent than the federal regulations, expect to see state regulators take on more of the burden to meet the standards put in place.
For example, California – the largest automobile market in the United States – adopted stricter emissions standards for automobiles, indicating that the federal roll back of the EPA will not stop progressive states from moving forward with their initiatives.
Twelve other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, as well as Washington, D.C., have also adopted California’s emission standards.
The next logical question is how will the new administration, and California’s subsequent response, affect companies looking to meet standards, follow regulations and continue to recycle materials banned from being thrown in general trash cans?
If the Trump budget is approved in it’s current iteration we can expect that progressive states will likely increase enforcement of regulations in order to fine and pay for the lack of federal funding being received.
This makes it imperative for California businesses to be aware of state recycling laws and regulations.
While Californians recycle bottles, containers and other materials out of habit now, most companies are unaware of some common office materials that are required by law to be properly recycled.
Batteries and fluorescent lamps (the long cylinder overhead lights) need to be recycled in order to avoid hefty fines into the tens of thousands.
Also all old technology, such as tube televisions and old computers must be recycled as e-waste.