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EPA to Host Listening Session Tonight

In an attempt to improve its procedures, the Environmental Protection Agency will hold a Regulatory Reform Listening Session at 7 this evening at The Library Center at 4653 South Campbell in Springfield. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the details.

Following an order by the president, the EPA will be looking for suggestions as to how it can make its regulatory programs more effective and less burdensome to citizens. Karl Brooks is the Region 7 administrator and will be in attendance along with other Region 7 representatives.

“We’d like to hear from people who have strong views about environmental protection, strong views about regulation. We’re also interested in just hearing from ordinary folks who are curious how they can help make their government work better,” Brooks says

Brooks says it’s important to understand that Congress sets the standards for the EPA and that any authority they do have comes from the laws that are put in place by Congress.

However, he does say that any concerns that are voiced will be taken seriously and brought to the attention of government officials.

“I’ll write up the comments that we’ve gotten, add my own observations about what we heard, different patterns of comments, pass those along to my boss, and then she in turn will deliver her report to the president, I think by May 20th,” he says

Many local business owners are expected to be in attendance this evening. Ken Reiss is the owner of the Computer Recycling Center on North National.

“We would like to see stricter rules and regulations.”

Reiss says he has good relationship with the EPA. Still, he says he’d like to see better enforcement.

“If there was more watch dogs, if the feds took it a little more serious and regulated it a little more it would keep what we refer to as the shame operators out of the business,” he says.

Reiss says the issue with many of the fraudulent computer recycling centers is that they do not properly dispose of electronic waste which contains high amounts of lead. This evening’s listening session is part of the agency’s fulfillment of an executive order issued by President Obama on January 18 of this year and aims to improve regulation and regulatory review.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.