|The Johnsonville plant|
I’m a Utahn by marriage who moved here in 1991, but I grew up in rural Tennessee in a community that was blessed to have the world’s largest titanium dioxide plant. The processes they used produced large amounts of toxic waste, including dioxins. When they started out in the 1960’s, they got rid of that by dumping it in the Tennessee river. That didn’t change until the EPA came into being.
They’ve worked over time to find a good solution to that toxic waste, but these things don't go away immediately - my home county and the neighboring one have the top 2 out of 3 cancer rates in the state. My mom has Parkinson’s. That’s been linked to dioxins - just ask the Marines about Agent Orange.
I, for one, want a federal government that protects our air and water. If anything, I’d just like them to get better at their jobs - give them proper funding and make sure they have the right tools.
I remember what the smog was like in the 80’s in L.A. - I couldn’t spend 10 minutes outdoors without getting a headache and an asthmatic cough -- it’s a lot like that in Salt Lake during the inversion. I have to keep my two sons from playing outdoors on yellow and red days.
When my Uncle Ben was 17, he spent a summer blowing asbestos insulation into ceilings in a TVA power plant near Paducah. Yes, he died from mesothelioma about the age I am today. I remember Love Canal and Times Beach. Go google “thalidomide” and tell me you don’t want to have an effective FDA.
I shouldn’t have to say this, but rivers don’t stop at state boundaries and neither does the air. Ensuring clean air and water is something we need the federal government to do.
Human beings have found or invented over 50 million unique chemicals, the vast majority in the past few decades. A new substance is isolated or synthesized every few seconds, day and night, seven days a week somewhere in the world. Those things go into consumer products, food, industrial processes, and some of those things are going to be very bad for people - we won’t know until they're tested. We used to put lead in our gasoline to get better performance. Go look up the effects of lead on a developing brain. Now, nobody’s going to want to put lead back in gasoline, but what’s the next “lead” or "thalidomide"?
It’s a big job, but somebody’s got to regulate this stuff. States aren’t going to - Utah’s not... Tennessee’s not...you know New Jersey’s not.
I hear y’all complaining about regulations. Trump wants to get rid of 2 regulations for every new one. That’s a dumb way to go about it. If federal regulations are getting in the way of business, you should be encouraging innovation, communication, and automation, not sending in a wrecking crew.
From my representative’s website:
"Anything we can do to reduce the power and influence of the federal government will strengthen our economy and help us reclaim the American dream."
Anything? Really? Chris Stewart, could you clarify that? Maybe walk it back a little?#TownHallStewart
The gist of my question is:
How are you all going to prevent the next tragedy when you’re hamstringing the people whose job that is?#TownHallHatch
(I didn’t even talk about global warming)