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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  March 9, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EST

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captioning performed by vitac please consider that before attempting to leave for the united states. the rumored 136 guatemalans repatriated erupted into applause. the reprocessing center was very modern. we had non-government agencies ready to help them go, there was one minor separated from the group of adults and their form of child protective services. we talk about the push factors. the president of honduras said please fix the ambiguity in your laws encouraging our citizens to
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leave countries. this is the united states of america. i don't know how many people from around the world want to come here but there are literally hundreds of millions if not billions of people who would like to be in america. we can't accept them all. it hases to be legal process. it has to be in the incentives with he create in our observe laws that is the push factor. there are push factors all over the world so we have to deal with what we can deal with here. those countries are beautiful countries. as long as we have the insatiable for drugs they can make 50 times the normal crop selling poppies. they don't have to deliver, they come pick it up. senator carp was saying the same thing. our 100-page report the root cause of unsecured border is our
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insatiable demand for drugs. let's acknowledge reality and take a look at policies we've enact enacted over multiple administrations and realize these things aren't working and we have to statd from my standpoint what should be the goal of our policies, what can we do to stem the flow as opposed to what we're doing right now in your budget, and again you've done a very good job with great humanity, what dhs did in the throes of the crisis of 2014 was extraordinary but that's not the solution, bottom line. you can comment, i've got a couple of questions. >> let me make something, say a couple things. first, i agree with what secretary cher to have told me with the situation in 2006.
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i share his view that illegal migration is very market sensitive. it reacts to information in the marketplace about what is going on and what you can expect to happen after you've paid a coyote $6,000 and migrated up here. so that is why to the consternation and unhappiness of many i've been public about our enforcement efforts. our enforcement efforts just this fiscal year, the first five months of this fiscal year with regard to central america, after all these people go through the process having their claim heard in immigration court, having the appeals run, and so forth, just this fiscal year we have sent back 28,000 people to central america nobody is sitting on their hands. 28,000 people. >> how many people that come? >> an average 14 flights a week
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so people are sent back routinely. >> out of how many that have come? again we're talking about unaccompanied children, you're talking about almost all adults is what you're talking about. what is the total that have come in of the 28,000 is what percent of the total? >> the number of total who have come in, just this fiscal year sure, exceeds that 28,000 number because a lot of them go through the litigation of their asylum claims as you know that takes months and months, doj has a limited number of immigration judges to hear the claims. i'm sending people back as quickly -- >> i understand the political heat, you've done that, the total amount do you know what they've come in and the estimate is? >> since when? >> just for the year. the same period, if you're saying you sent back 28,000 out of how many that came into this country illegally that we know of. >> so far, this fiscal year
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there have been 152,000 apprehensions on our southern border. 152,000 apprehensions. >> there's dispute how many get by without us know being it. >> one of the reasons why i think you and i are both interested in developing better border metrics. >> i appreciate that. >> it is a larger number and presumably all these people are in deportation proceedings at one stage of the process or another. as you know it is a time consuming process but we are in fact routinely sending hundreds and thousands of people back to central america and i've made a big deal about that. >> one of the reasons we have 1,000 unaccompanied mexican children we can send them back right away. it's easier to do it. >> it's a different situation, too. mexico is not quite the same
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situation. >> just to follow up and finish your sentence about mexico is a different situation briefly, please. >> the economy is better as you know, factors are not the same. mexico is a much different country from say 15 years ago, when the numbers of illegal migrants coming from there were far, far greater. and so i think it is notable that though our economy is improving, the number of apprehensions on our southern border is a fraction of what it used to be, thanks to the investments we and the congress have made in border security over the last 15 years. could we do better? absolutely. are we concerned about another spike? we have to prepare for it and we are concerned about that. nobody is popping champagne corks. just yesterday i had a meeting with the secretary of hhs on this problem to try to
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anticipate what could be the worst again, but as i said, i don't think 2014 is a perfect comparative. i think the trend lines are a little different. still we can assume we'll see s season seasonal migration trending up again. >> with mexico they have a vibrant middle class, they have a middle class today they did not' have 20 years ago and part of that i think could be attributable to nafta and other things as well. strong trading partners with us. we still have problems with rule of law in this country and they have their challenges in mexico in that regard. the folks coming out of ghwat ma ta and salvador, we've been down there. if we lived down there and tried to raise our families we might try to get out and get them to a safer place. cyber security, i know we talked a little bit about that.
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we over the last several years talked about it a lot and done very good work in an earlier korng wicongress with tom cobur passing legislation the center that provided greater hiring flexibility and enhanced ability to hire the cyber borders you need and maintain them and the other is recognize the responsibilities of the department of homeland security and omb with respect to protecting our dot-gov domain in aity thatful way and to move away from paperwork drill system to actually real time system where we actually are able to respond in a real time basis, not like a year after an intrusi intrusion. we're happy with all of that. we have provided funding as you know for all of that, and you now have had an opportunity to begin hiring cyber warriors, how
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is it going? >> first of all, thank you for, thank you both of you for taking on this complex subject and pushing out a really good bill last year. in 2014 it gives us additional hiring authorities. we are competing in a tough marketplace against the private sector that is in a position to offer a lot more money. suzanne spalding and her people are making very aggressive efforts to, a, implement the 2014 legislation you passed, and b, in the interim, to do a lot of things in terms of recruitment, expediting the hiring process and so forth. we need more cyber talent, without a doubt, in dhs, in the federal government, and we are not where we should be right now. that is without a doubt. >> let me just interrupt you.
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phyllis shneck, one of your top cyber people she came out of the private sector, went to georgia tech and came out of the private sector, very well compensated and she gave it up in order to come to work at the department of homeland security. >> i'm familiar with the if he nom none, yes. >> yes, and the reason why when i talked to her about it was that she felt an obligation, desire to give back to her country. and there's, itn this case there's something to be said for people's feeling of patriotism, it's one of the things that draws her and that's a calling card, if you will, that we can use and i'm sure that we do. let me just follow up by saying i think there's a 30% increase in the president's proposed budget for next year for the department's cyber security
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programs, and some of these monies will be used to help expand einstein basically all federal agencies are using einstein one and two and also einstein three intrusion detection system across the board and bring in the new personnel we talked about for cyber os. how does the budget support implementation of the cyber security information legislation sharing that was enacted last year? we worked on it together and got great support from the administration from the president. but how does the budget support implementation of our information sharing bill that was enacted and signed into law last december? >> short answer for instance in maintaining our technology and building upon what we have, further investments in the einstein system further investments in cdm, the legislation specifically authorizes dhs to go into other
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federal departments and agencies to detect, to monitor and block intrusions, that is a good thing that congress gave us the authority to do that, because we were finding considerable uncertainty in departments and agencies to do that. one of my top priorities for federal civilian dot-gofr cyber security while i'm in office is to have e3a in place to block intrusions across our entire federal civilian system before the end of this year, and i think that's one of the legal mandates in the bill. but as i've said, einstein is also a platform for being additional capabilities so we're not just going after known intrusions, but also suspected intrusions. there are pilots out there now to do that, and i think we need to build on that for the future. so the funding for additional technology implements the legislation that was passed last year. >> all right, just a quick
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question follow-up on encryption if i could. we hear a lot in the media about apple and the disagreements that they have with the fbi, it's a serious matter and we have a mass killing in san bernardino, as we know, i think 14 people were killed by a couple who were radicalized and there's an apple cell phone in question that i think was not owned by the killers, the perpetrators of the violence but is owned by the county, where the husband had actually worked. we have a role to play here, some of our colleagues in the house and the senate are working on legislation. the administration is, has spelled out their own. i think there's actually some people who don't like, think of one mind-set on 24 issue within
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the administration. it's a tough issue, but as we consider legislation on this matter, do you have some advice for us? >> my advice is that ensure that you have the views of all the stakeholders from the tech sector, from the intelligence community and from the law enforcement community federal and state. one person who comes to mind is cyrus vance, who is the manhattan d.a. cy, a friend of mine, has been vocal about the enscription issue from the local law enforcement level and he reminds us basically any crime that involves communications, not just federal crimes, is harder to detect because of the encryption issue. i do believe that there needs to
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be a readjustment in the pendulum. in response to the demands of the marketplace the tech sector has gone a long way toward encryption but it has, in fact created a situation where crime and potential terrorist plotting is harder to detect. so i and others do agree that there needs to be a recalibration. i of course support the government's position in the case involving apple in california, and so if we are to grapple with this problem i think smart people can solve the problem, but we have to ensure that all the stakeholders are represented in that discussion. >> we'll continue to welcome your counsel on this. one last one mr. chairman if i could. mr. chairman, i and others in our staff have worked a whole
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lot on trying to put legislative language authorizing some of the initiatives that have comprised in their entirety here unity of effort. why do you want to leave some of your reforms in place the next secretary and will these reforms help in some way to get maybe off the high risk list and do the work more effectively? >> well, first of all, through our very able undersecretary who is sitting right there -- >> what's his name? >> russ deo. >> i've heard of him. >> former client from my private practice days and his very able cfo and deputy secretary. we've gone a long way in working with gao to get off the high risk list. i believe very strongly that a lot of the things we are doing to remove the stove pipes in dhs and have a more strategic approach to budget making, acquisition, and so forth, should be institutionalized. it's not just something that
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should exist while i am in office. i think it will make the department a better, more effective place for homeland security if we move in the direction of more centralized, more strategic approaches to our homeland security mission. we've been stove piped for far too often and we need to move toward a model more like the department of defense, where you have joint duty, joint task forces, and the like. there are provisions in the current law that create some limitations on our ability to do that, and i'm sure our staffs have spoken to you about that in the current homeland security act, and so authorization of our unity of effort initiatives is something i very, very much support, which includes reforming and restructuring
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nppd. i've seen the legislative language that i know your committee is working through now on a number of these things and i support that and i support the good work there. >> good. i think it's fair to say we support what you are a'trying to do as well. thank you, thanks for joining us today. >> thanks. i still have some questions as well, so let's step through them. by the way i appreciate you working with me on border metrics bill and the fact that you recognize if we're going to ever provide greater secure the borders with he need to understand the situation. i hope you'll continue to work with us. i'd like to get that passed and support efforts that you're trying to do within your department. let's talk a little bit about critical infrastructure. earlier i talked about ted koppel's book "lights out." we had james woolsey in here. the emp commission 2008 tasked
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your department with a number of i guess call them quick fixes and gao reported we haven't done a whole lot on that. we've witnessed the unsolved attack on electrical substation at metcalf, you read about the cyber attack on the power grid system in the ukraine, look at the potential of solar storms with gino magnetic disturbances. let's look at north korea, we'll see missile technology, nuclear capabiliti capabilities. i'm concerned about iran, the reports they've test fired scud missiles off of ships offshore. these threats are real and can you talk about across the board critical infrastructure, i will say tiparticularly the electric grid the number one. electricity goes down, lights go out, we're in a world of hurt and we have these massive, these large power transformers that
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dr. richard garwin, senator mow knees when i questioned him in northern relations, he said dr. garwin a national treasure. he was referred to as one of the true geniuses richard fehrman ever met. can you speak to me what the department has done in terms of the charge you were given based on the 2008 emp commission on critical infrastructure, electrical grid but ex-paneleded just beyond cyber attack, physical terrorist attack, where are we at on that? >> better than we were, but there's more to do. i don't agree with everything in ted koppel's book but i think he was right to put a spotlight on the issue. since the earthquake in japan in 2012 there were a lot of lessons learned for u.s. government and private sector critical infrastructure utilities here and since that, which was sort
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of a seminal event we've done a lot more partnering with the private sector and with critical infrastructure to work with them, sharing best practices, sharing information about the potential for a cyber attack on power grids. and we do exercises now with them so we're in a better place than we were. there was a dhs team along with an inner agency team in the ukraine recently that was a cyber attack that led to a power failure. we're not at this point in a position to attribute it to any particular source but that was a cyber attack. >> highly sophisticated, correct? >> and it would appear to have been fairly fisophisticated, ye. that should be and must be a wake-up call for those who haven't been awakened by this problem and this risk. we are working with critical infrastructure all the time. i've spoken to ceos of utilities
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about this problem, and their issue as well but there's clearly more to do, chairman. >> what does the lead group in your opt for looking at this? >> we have an assistant secretary for infrastructure protection who is part of this effort, but also our cyber security efforts as well. >> i want to work closely with you over the next few months to do whatever we can legislatively in working with your department. this is incredibly important. i've got more questions but turn it over to chairman mccain. >> thank you very much, welcome back secretary johnson. couple of issues real quick. you know, we are terribly short of staffing at our ports of entry on our southern border. we passed legislation which would expedite veterans being hired. we've done a number of things
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but we're still, for example, in tucson, nogles miraposa port of entry we're 20% understaffed, well over 100. so you see these vacant lanes, and traffic stacked up behind it simply because we don't have the personnel. it's my understanding it takes about 18 months and we did pass legislation which would expedite veterans, former military, but the fact is that we're still not making up for that shortfall, and i am of the view that we need to have some kind of incentive pay or hazardous duty pay at ports of entries that are, that experience high traffic flows, and i'm very interested in your view on that. >> first, senator, we're not where we need to be. no argument from me there.
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cbp needs to and is making aggressive efforts to hire, to bring on people faster, to get them through the polygraph exams. i fully support the hiring of veterans and making it easier to hire veterans. i understand that you are interested in legislation to deal with pay in these areas, and i'm happy to look at that with you, sir. >> it's very tough environment along all of our southern border, but also in arizona it gets particularly warm, and i can understand how tough a duty it is, and so i think that just as we in the military, we provide incentive pay for hardship positions, i hope that you would look at that and i'll be introducing legislation on
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it, because it's just not sufficient as you know, when we're hundreds, well over 100 agents, customs agents short, it's either there's something wrong with the level of staffing required or something wrong with the level of personnel. i know that you know that there is an epidemic of manufactured heroin, and the deaths of manufactured heroin overdose have been described by some governors, including the governor of new hampshire, as a "epidemic." the heroin being transported across the border in arizona, seizures have increased 223% as the drug cartels obviously transport and distribute the drug to the united states. i think it's particularly interesting now, the passing of
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nancy reagan just say no to drugs was something that we, i think we ought to do a lot more of. but one, do you agree that this is heroin drug overdose deaths are skyrocketing. that's just facts that we get from the governors, and aren't most of this, this manufactured heroin coming across through the ports of entry, rather than smuggled across the border areas. one reason, for several reasons, and what do you propose that we need to combat this, what some governors have described as a "epidemic"? >> i agree that most of the heroin that is seized is seized at ports of entry on our southern border. that's what the facts and the statistics show as opposed to maritime, for example. we have seen greater levels of
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seizures by customs and border protection and by hsi. we have created a national task force with the department of justice to deal with the heroin epidemic specifically. part of the joint task force missions that i created two years ago, part of our jtf missions, which is modeled by the way after the structure we have in arizona, is the illegal narcotics problem. it's not just migrants, illegal migrants. i want our jtfs to be focused on narcotics as well that we're seeing an increase. it is alarming. and i think this needs to be a national government effort within dhs we've got i.c.e., hsi, and customs and border protection focused on this problem and we're seeing seizures at higher levels without a doubt. >> but it also seems that the problem is increasing according
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to these governors, rather than decreasing, and i agree fundamentally, i totally agree, supply and demand, but it seems to me that despite our increase in addiction, the problem is growing worse. would you agree with that? >> yes, sir. >> you got any ideas? >> i think we need more resources at the federal government level, not just dhs, but doj, dea, and a coordinated, sustained effort to deal with this problem. >> i hope that this committee and the congress can get some recommendations from you, because frankly, i have not seen anything quite like this, when i travel to new hampshire, and hear the governor of new hampshire say it's an epidemic in our state. it's been throughout the midwest as well. and maybe also sometime we ought to talk about demand but nobody seems to want to discuss that
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aspect of it either, and i know that he's d's that's's disappointing to you. finally on the children showing up at the border, is one of the answers allowing increasing our custom -- our embassy and consulate capability in those three countries, el salvador, nicaragua and guatemala so they can go there rather than showing up on our border? >> yes, sir. i agree with that. >> i thank you for the good work that you do, mr. secretary. we have some spirited discussions from time to time, but i appreciate the work that you are doing, and maybe finally as nancy reagan inaugurated, maybe we ought to be talking a little bit more about trying to address the demand side of this problem rather than blaming it all on the mexican cartels, who i'm glad to blame it on them,
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but there is a demand. do you agree? >> i agree, yes, you have to deal with the demand and the supply. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> thth, senator mccain. by the way we mentioned earlier i think the valuation i've come to in this committee the root cause of our unsecured border literally is our insatiable demand for drugs so that is an important component. we're trying to work on a piece of legislation to address the consulates, but here's an idea in terms of interdicting drugs at the border through ports of entry. we held a hearing and i know you're busy with the armed services committee, incredibly interesting hearing on k9 units and really spawned, really -- the red teams, the failure rates, because it is difficult to detect these things, went to university of pennsylvania where they've got a pretty ground-breaking k9 training unit
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there. unbelievable capabilities. in the hearing certainly we saw we have not really increased the number of k9 units, certainly within dhs. i want your evaluation. in the layered approach to airport security, this is for bomb sniffing, this is for potentially drug sniffing, all those issues, do you think it's good to explore the efficacy and maybe the expansion of k9 units throughout your different missions, whether it's drug interdiction, whether it's trying to potentially sniff out bombs in airports, that type of thing? i'm very intrigued by it. >> there's actually no better technology than a dog's nose for detecting certain times of explosives and prohibited items, and just in the last two years i've seen us expand the use of k9s. at last point of departure
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airports and domestic airports to look for prohinted e eed prod items in airports and around airplanes so i do believe in k9 use. it's very, very effective in a number of our missions, not just aviation security. >> with he haven't really increased the numbers. is that something that you'd want to look at. about 2,500 within dhs i think about 900 in tsa and over 1,000 in tsa. it's been pretty flat. do you think it's so effective that we should be looking at getting that? >> i think it's worth looking at. had a hearing devoted to exclusively to this not too long ago. >> yes. >> k9s are very effective and one of the things that i was fascinated to learn when i was in turkey last week is that they're not as opposed to the use of k9s there as one might expect them to be, so they're embracing this, too. so i think it is worth looking at, yes.
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>> okay, willet's work together on th let's work together on that. the final thing is personnel and cyber. happy to work with you there in terms of what do we need to do. is it trying to get people from the private sector to take a two-year sabbatical and come here, whatever imaginative program we can to track those individuals. i'm very impressed with the individuals, like yourself, like mr. diehl, that really your entire team here. the quality of the federal workforce. these people are patriots. they take their mission seriously about keeping this nation safe, but also understand the constraints. i'm a private sector guy. i know what private sector will pay for talent and you're constrained there. we'll have to put our heads together and figure out what do we need to do -- >> just a couple minutes left in this hearing. we'll leave it here. you can see it in its entirety at our website we'll go live now to capitol hill as five state level environmental protection regulators are testifying at a senate environment and public
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works committee on federal epa regulations and their impact on states. this is just getting under way. >> -- many of our members who want to introduce those from their state, senator cope k? >> i'd like to welcome randall huffman, our cabinet secretary and has been for many years in west virginia at the department of environmental protection. randy has served for three years, he was three years as the deputy but he has worked in all variety of areas including abandoned mine lands program, he's a graduate of west virginia tech. we've seen him or i see him around time all the time, welcome, randy, thank you for your testimony and for your service to our state and to our nation. >> and senator? >> thank you mr. chairman, yes, i would. first i'd also like to thank all of our witnesses for coming here today to testify in front of this committee on state perspectives. i particularly would like to welcome to our committee today the secretary of the south dakota department of environment and natural resources or as with
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he used to call them dirt and water. secretary perna served as the dean of secretary for three south dakota governors but he has also been in various positions at deaner since 1979. secretary perna has more than three decades of experience with epa regulations and is truly an expert in the field. secretary perna has an impressive breadth of experience in every type of environmental regulation. he has extensive experience in epa rules, regulating water, air and toxic substances. secretary perna leads an agency with approximately 180 full time employees and the small group of employees is responsible for administering nearly all of the federal environmental laws on the epa such as clean water act, clean air act and safe drinking water act. also responsible for administering various state and environmental laws in the state with over 77,000 square miles of land. secretary perna knows all too well a man on a small state agency with limited budgets that they face while attempting to administer the increasing
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multitude of epa regulations forced upon the states. every day he is confronted with the challenge of managing his agency's resources in a way that will allow them to fulfill all of their state and federal duties as the environmental regulatory agency in south dakota. it should be noted that over 30% of deaner's operating budget is relying on federal fund. every day he ensures sd sdians enjoy the cleanest water and air possible and south dakota's environmental record is a source of pride for all of us. i can tell you during the time that i worked as governor inn south dakota eight years steve was the secretary of this department. he comes with a wealth of knowledge and an interest in seeing that things get done and get done correctly. i'm very happy that he has been age to make the trek out here for this very very special meeting thank you. >> it's very nice to have you here. senator did you want to introduce -- >> i do. i want to say to randy welcome.
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it's been a lot of years growing up as a kid back visiting my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all over the state so great to have you here. i think you have somebody with you today from beckley, nice to see you, withal come, goed to see you. you have a name that's going to be most pronounced of any of our witnesses today. just to make it easy for my folks, it would be easy to call him ali, his last name is rouzakalily, nice sound to it. >> good. >> he's been a servant for the people of delaware for close to 30 years, a key leader in the department of natural resources, environmental control. he used to work for the guy sitting behind me who is our secretary of the department of natural resources and environmental control so this is like getting the band back together and we welcome the opportunity. ali is the director of the division of better quality with the department of natural resources and environmental control. he's responsible for implementing all aspects of the
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clean air act requirements. his 30 years of experience in all quality, all aspects of air quality management including a program in regulatory development, planning, compliance, and enforcement and permitting. he's professional engineer and holds a b.s. in engineering from the university of delaware, and m.s. in environmental planning and management from johns hopkins university. it's been a great servant and friend, welcome, ali, we're happy that you're here, thank you. >> thank you, senator carper. becky we'll hold you until senator boseman comes here. i had a prayer breakfast with him this morning and i told him i'd do that. we'll postpone yours. deborah, nice to have you here and welcome along with the rest of the witnesses. we'll give opening statements and then i'll hear from you, since there are five of you i'd like to have you try to comply with the same time that we do up here. today's hearing is critical to our understanding of the success
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and the lack of success of the environmental groups across the country. indeed in appreciation of our unique system of federalism, congress in particular this committee must check in with states to ensure this system is fully functioning, when it comes to actions initiated by the united states environmental protection agency, the epa. for this reason i want to thank our state regulators to share your feedback where the framework between the states and epa is working and upholding the principles of cooperative federalism. cooperative federalism is a core principal of environmental status statutes, including the clean air air act, and several others. unfortunately under the obama administration, we observed a flood of new regulations, breaking down this system in
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what seems to be uncooperative federalism, the obama epa has embarked on an unprecedented regulatory agenda that simply runs over states by imposing an increasing number of federal regulatory actions on states while requesting even less funds to help states carry out these actions. as some state regulators have explained, epa is requiring them to do more with less. many of these actions are driven from the epa headquarters to fulfill a political agenda, in years of litigation and inefficiencies that cost citizens more taxpayer dollars and reap little to no environmental benefits. today we have a diverse panel of witnesses from states across the country working with different epa regions, and experiencing unique environmental issues, who
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will expand on this breakdown, while state feedback varies, there are several troubling themes that have consistently emerged. epa has neglected their responsibility to consult with states at the beginning stages of regulatory actions, the epa gives states little time to digest complex regulations and provide meaningful analysis during short comment periods. epa has allowed environmental activists to set regulatory deadlines imposed on states through sue and settle agreements without state input. the epa has increasingly used regulatory guidance to circumvent the regulatory process. epa has a severe backlog of approving state implementation plans yet has issued an unprecedented number of federal implementation plans over state air programs. epa budget requests have called for decreased levels of state funding while requesting an
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increase funds for epa bureaucrats, and epa is deviating from its core functions and duty to uphold cooperative federalism as we defined it. these concerns are not limited to our witnesses today. last month i sent letters to all committee members state environmental agencies asking for feedback on epa actions, in the level of cooperative federalism. i appreciate the many responses i got to this committee, and without objection we'll make them a part of the record. look forward to receiving additional state responses and to hear more from our witnesses today as we take a hard look at what works and what does not work and to hear the other side, senator boxer. >> how did you know -- thanks. friends on the panel, thank you all for being here. and do count me in on people who want to hear from the states. so many of our states are leaders on the environment.
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my own being a prime example. we have proven that we can clean up our environment and also create very good paying jobs, and it's been proven over and over again. i think that all wisdom certainly does not reside here. i think every one of us would say that, and that's why i've always liked the idea of minimum standards being set by the federal government to protect all of our people, but allowing the states to do more to protect their people from pollution, and that's really at the heart of what this debate is all about. to me, it's not about states rights. it's about protecting people at a minimum level and then allowing the states to do more, if they want to. now, states have a very important role to play in carrying out our landmark environmental laws, which we can talk about them all day. i will make a prediction. we will never repeal the clean
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air act. we will never repeal the clean water act. we will never repeal the safe drinking water act. we will never repeal the superfund act. we will never repeal the brown fields act. why? because 90% of the american people support that. so what happens here in this committee, since my friends took the chair, it was tough to swallow, but nothing personal, what has happened is, we're try igto see an undermining of those laws. there's a back door, making it impossible, lawsuits and the rest. so i just want to say this, and i'll ask unanimous concert to place my full statement on the record. >> without objection. >> you know, you have to learn all of us by what happens, we have to learn history. we have to look at current events, and i'm speaking for myself, and only for myself when i say this. when i look at what happened in
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michigan, when i look at the way that state handled the situation in flint, i think for us to be holding a hearing saying the federal government shouldn't do anything. the fact is, epa in writing warned them, did the epa do enough? not in my book. but they warned them in writing. they told them to put anti-corrosive treatment into those pipes. they ignored it. and i'm not pointing the finger at any one person, but somebody there is going to be blamed for this at the end of the day, when the suits are finally, come to the courts. but to me it's a moral crime. it's a moral crime. so to just say the state should do it all, there shouldn't be minimum standards, you know, we shouldn't really triple check these water systems. i just don't buy it, and i think that what our laws do i think are very happy compromise between the right of the people
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who vote for president, who vote for senators, who vote for house members, to know they'll have a basic standard, so that they can be protected and their children can be protected, and then say to the states, look, you're the laboratory. if you can do more, fine. but protect them to at least a minimum level, and that's been the way i have viewed this job. that's why when we preempt states on this, i think it's a terrible thing to do. and i have shown that through, you know, my whole career. but again, i want to say thank you, whether you agree with me or not. i know two do and three don't, something like that but i'm very happy to see all of you here. >> thank you senator boxer. senator boseman would you like to introduce your guest from arkansas? i already told her i was about half hog and explained the genesis of that statement. >> in the interest of time i just want to thank her for being here and thanks for the tremendous job hee is doing in
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arkansas and we're grateful to have her on board and like i said we're pleased that you're here and all that you represent. thank you. >> thank you, senator boseman. we're going to start with you, ali. i'm going to follow the direction of senator carper and take your short name, all right? you are recognized. >> chairman and house ranking member boxer and members of the committee my name is ali merzakalili, delaware's director of air quality. i thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i would like to share with you delaware's view of the respective roles and responsibilities of the epa, state and the u.s. congress with respect to complying with various environmental statutes and associated regulatory actions to protect public health and environment. the clean air act has been a huge success, preventing literally hundreds of thousands of premature deaths as well as averting millions of incidents and mobility.
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the health benefits associated with the clean air act far outweigh the cost of reducing pollution for more than 30:1. moreover we have accrued health benefits over the same periods as the gross domestic product has grown. it's fair to say the clean air act has been one of our nation's most effective and environmental statutes it's like to go down in history as the most effective domestic laws ever passed. the public generally does not differentiate between levels of government. it simply expects the entire system to work. therefore it is imperative that each power of government, epa, congress and the states, fulfill its respective roles and perform as effectively as possible. as i state in my written statement, i believe epa can best fulfill its role by focusing on six important tenets, one using sound science to set national standards. two, providing states flexibility to meet those national standards. three, issues guidelines and rules in a timely manner. four, ensuring that states are
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held accountable for their actions. five, providing a level playing field. six, setting standards for sources of pollution that are of national significance and where states may be preempted from doing so. congress also has a major responsibility in environmental protection, including most importantly ensuring that it provides adequate funding to epa and the states to assist in meeting our nation's clean air goals. unfortunately, in recent years, congress has fallen short in this respect. the clean air act authorizes the federal government to provide grants for up to 60% of the cost of state and local air pollution programs and calls for states and localities to provide a 40% match. unfortunately, this has not been the case. state and local responsibilities have ex-paneleded significantly since 1990. while the grants have not, resulting in delaware and most other states self-funding over 75% of their air program's
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operating budget. the states are trying to do their best to comply with all epa rules and regulations under the clear air act. in delaware i'm proud to say we are meeting all of our clean ai obligations. we succeed by being proactive, collaborative and focusing on limited resources so as to ensure control. this year states face a number of important deadlines under the clean air act. they do not differentiate between large states with ample resources and small states like ours with fewer resources. i believe delaware's practice of ensuring all emitting sources are appropriately controlled is key to our ability to manage this in light of insufficient funding. if we can do it, so can others. because of delaware's efforts to maintain compliance with earlier standards, those efforts aren't
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wasted and delaware is complying with the 2012 standards and is subject only to the first of the three sulfur dioxide requirements. these do not represent an manageable workload for 2016. we are continuing to work this year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. this year delaware will continue work under the greenhouse gas initiative and prepare the state's strategy under the clean power plant. i believe the cpp is an excellent example of how epa is thoughtfully and successfully working with states to craft achievable, flexible rules. delaware continues to experience poor air quality and impacts from ozone and public health and the economy. delaware's emissions control efforts to reduce ozone precursor emissions resulted in a situation where over 90% of the ozone concentration adversely affecting delaware is
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attributable to emissions transported into the states. under the clean air fact more than five years ago. if they have not done so. in some cases the problem is that sources haven't controlled their emissions. in others appropriate controls have been installed but incredibly aren't being operated. to increase epa resources to enable the agency to ensure equity would greatly help delaware and others in similar situations. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i look forward to answering questions. >> thank you. ms. markowicz. >> good morning, all. i'm the secretary of vermont's agency of natural resources. i know senator sanders wasn't in florida he would be introducing me today. thank you for inviting me to testify in cooperative federalism and environmental
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regulation. vermont is a regulated state so we take responsibility for the oversight and implementation of federal environmental programs. we implement the resource conservation and recovery act, clean water act and the national pollution discharge elimination system permit program. the clean air act and safe drinking water act. vermont chose to take on these federally delegated programs. epa didn't force us to do so. the federal government did require it. vermont chose to take responsibility to implement these important regulatory programs in our state because we know how important they are to vermonters health, safety and prosperity. not only do we rely on clean air, clean water, and clean land to protect the health el of our people. vermont has a land-based economy. our top industries include tourism, agriculture and forestry. each relies on a clean, healthy and natural environment . people come from all over the
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world the fish in our rivers, swim in our lakes, hike and ski. this isn't all. in the manufacturing and high tech sectors, indeed every sector of business and industry in vermont it is the natural beauty of state and the pristine environment that enables us to attract good jobs and high quality employees to stay or relow indicate in vermont. vermont can ensure the state's protected through regulation, assistance and enforcement. this control is even more important in light of the highly charged political dialogue that our environmental laws and regulations here in washington. while new rules promulgated by epa take time and effort to implement in the states there are good reasons to support a strong approach. first we look to epa for the expertise to study and develop the science and technology. we could not meet our mission to
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protect human health and safe guard the natural environment without this important federal contribution. second we see value in having national standards for environmental protection. as the children in rutland, vermont who suffer from asthma and anglers who can't eat the fish they catch because of mercury pollution know well it doesn't know state lines. vermonters as well as all americans have come to depend upon them. finally national environmental regulations provide an even playing field among states helping to prevent a regulatory race to the bottom in a misguided attempt to attract economic development. it is important to acknowledge the system of coregulation between epa and the states is not always simple or without a natural attention. there are times to address a problem differently than it was approached in the past and when the federal approach they have
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unintended consequences for us in vlt because of the small size and character. in situations like these, we found epa willing to listen to our concerns and work with us to find a solution. on numerous occasions and across sectors the epa supports the efforts to protect the environment. epa has allowed flexibilitile in vermont's program implementation, cooperated with us to achieve our shared environmental goals, included vermont's voice inad?ç efforts develop new rules and standards and shared resources and expertise to help us more efficiently and effectively implement our programs. in my written testimony i have included a number of specific examples that would be helpful. in closing i want to reiterate the value of the relationship with epa and that for vermont this partner is essential to protect our environment and the health of our citizens and exemplify federalism. i'm happy to take questions. thank you.
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>> thank you. >> good morning. thank you for the opportunity to address this concern of federalism and environmental regulation. as the chief environmental regulator i view the cooperative partnership as critical. according to the environmental council of the states over 95% of the environmental regulatory duties in the country are carried out by the states. congress placed the most important core responsibilities with the states because they are far more responsive to local concerns and aware of the environment than distant bureaucracies. in addition states must be cost effective, have balanced budgets and perform in the face of flat or declining revenues. it is within these constraints that they have demonstrated not only we are up to the challenge but that we continue to deliver the results congress envisioned when it created our
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environmental framework within the model of t. unfortunately federalism has been less than cooperative with epa and intier yors office of surface money. there is new regulation, guidance and initiatives from federal agencies and much of it encroaches on the authority congress gave to the states. nearly all of it adds new regulatory burdens to state resours already stretched thin. at best epa and osm are indifferent to the mounting consequences of their actions. at worst we see federal agencies continue to basically rewrite the nation's environmental acts with no accountability. time will only permit me to cover a few. my first example was one with which we were all familiar. regardless of the physician, individual states take on climate change. section 111-d of the clean air
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act put it is states, not epa in charge of developing standards of performance. with little regard to the role congress gave it epa seized the state's authority. its carbon rule establishes the minute details of one of the most complex initiatives in the history of the clean air act. epa is establishing what amounts to rules through guidance. states are expected to perform to the results of the process as if epa had promulgated a valid rule. there are two problems with this. epa guidance further eliminates discretion and allows them to avoid accountability and transparency. the final examples relate to similar actions by interiors office of surface money. the protection rule which i he have testified about in october is another example of a federal agency attempting to rewrite
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part of an act of congress with no mandate to do so. they further failed so involvele the states which have promised to carry out the duties. the result is a proposal with multiple unlawful conflicts with federal and state clean water laws. in fact, since 2009 west virginia has submitted nine amendments to the office of surface mining for consideration. only those that propose to increase fees or taxes on the mining industry have been approved. only then on an interim basis. my last example is osm's misuse of ten-day notices to correct defects. ten-day notices are an onlile investigation under the surface mining act to notify the states when a mining violation is suspected and has not been properly addressed. it is clearly an enforcement measure to be applied to active
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operations. in 2009 osm was directed to use this regulatory tool to correct deficiencies in state issued permits which is clearly contrary to the surface mining act. most states including west virginia embraced the idea of collective federal ichl in protecting the environment. the practice is sound, has great validity and has been successful in the past. since 2009 i have watched epa and osm go about executing an agendaing that doesn't concern itself with the rule of law for making changes to our nation's environmental statutes. i don't want to create the impression that they are negative. across many programs we have built very good working relationships with our counterparts at the regional level. most appeared to emanate from epa and osm headquarters which
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have little or no understanding of what it takes to run a state regulatory environmental program. >> thank you. >> members of the committee, good morning. i appreciate the opportunity to respond to your call this morning. in arkansas we are seek ing to drive regulatory policy that balance effective environmental results to ep sure affordable energy and economic growth goals. we want a state that can seek to attract professionals seeking out healthy living lifestyles and arkansas's world class recreational opportunities. arkansas has invested in assuring we are stewards of the clean air, healthy breathing air, amazing vistas with which
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we have been blessed. we do not take our status as the natural state likely. we strive to fairly and consistently serve the corresponding and complementarile roles of environmental stewardship and economic development. likewise for decades we have successfully worked with epa under a governing model that's the topic of today's hearing. this notion is born of something uniquely american -- our system of federalism whereby the nations and states function together as cosovereigns. both the epa and states had a balanced seat at the table. as we are known to do in the south, we would sit around the table and have a good old fashioned meal. there would be lively debate, ample servings and we would prepare a meal together. however this once treasured family style dines with our federal partners has become a thing of the past.
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now we have an increasingly diminished role el in the menu selection and meal preparation. we are often forced to eat what's served. the cooperative federalism model that defined arkansas's relationship with epa beginning in the 1970s has morphed into something better described today as federalism. we have seen a decrease in time and tolerance for state implementation plans and a dramatic increase in epa take overs or federal implementation plans. historically these were used as weapons of last resort for our epa travel. its nuclear option for states that were unle faithful to the partnership or denied marriage outright. now often used as an everyday tool of dubious origin in the epa's master arsenal. in the past seven years states have been forced to digest more of the federal take overs than were ever served in the prior three federal administrations
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come bined, ten times over. states will not waste the time to draft their own proposals if they expect the federal government to do what it wants to in the end. the opportunity for local innovation is destroyed. cooperation should be fostered, not discouraged. we call on you, our congress, to help remedy this broken marriage through amendments or ancillary amendments. heaven perched a seat at the table but finding out meals are served from the epa table. we are served a fixed menu without a fixed president of the united states. states' willingness to split the check and buy dessert was mitigated by a he will think respect and deference we have received. now we ask your assistance in resetting the needle to its point of origin. for air pollution, we seek air pollution prevention and control
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is the primary responsibility of the states and local governments. in our estimation, congress should ring the dinner bell, calling for the meal to be served. states should host the occasion and epa should be a frequent and faithful guest at each state's table. however, where we are now, we can best describe as a progressive dinner party gone bad. states recognized an unprecedented level of federal action to borrow a saying in the south, we have more on our state than we can say grace over. the sheer number of mandates and deadlines further complicated by the complexity of the rules leaves us in a position for being served appetizer, soup, main course, salad and dessert all at the same time. if we do not clean we are banished from the table. to establish meaningful before moving oh to next one. we are left unable to taste one course before the next arrives.
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the epa has the luxury of being the ultimate picky eater while they select what they prefer on the menu while the states are struggling to digest the meals and leftovers. the reality is that states are often now more pawn than partner is no more evidence ed in the epa's transportation from a two sentence legislation passage to the clean power plan which had final consequences and extraordinary costs. arkansas is seeking ways to work with how we can work with epa on consolidating efforts and superceding fips and sips without facing legal conflicts. in addition to the clean water act, state developed robust natural condition water criteria in arkansas have now become unrealistic and often unachievable minimum water protection standards. in this case epa executed an ultimate bait and switch.
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serving up is 'tis tasteful. to ignore the chairs in our table that are stabilized by three legs and not just one makes for a difficultle meal. we want to see it at this table. we should not be but regulation of the day. in fact, a result from reinterpretation of the good neighbor provisions. in conclusion, not only has the uniquely american federalism model fallen but the state rule is now less partner and more pawn. we see soup and salad on the menu. we are left to wonder if special interest groups occupy our spots at the table that was reserved for us. with states disenfranchised so is the truth of federal democracy and the people we represent. thank you.
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>> thank you. >> chairman, ranking member boxer, members of the committee. my name is steve permer, secretary of the south dakota natural resources. i appreciate the opportunity to share with you our per speculatives on why we don't believe the current framework between epa and the states upholdle the principle of cooperative federalism. let me provide examples to help fund the administration of federal regulatory programs. epa awards us a performance partnership grant. in 2012 the grant peaked in funding but declined during the last three years. this decrease is inverse through the huge increase in federal requirements for delegated programs in our view is an erosion of cooperative federal ichl. an increase of federal preejs. for example, epa and the corps
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of engineers had a rule intend ing to clarify which water bodies are subject to jurisdiction under the clean water act. the rule faced substantial opposition in south dakota. we joined a lawsuit to block the rule. upon joining the challenge, south dakota attorneys general marty jackley was kboeted as saying the epa was over stepping congressional authority, seizing rights specifically reserved to the states. also under the clean water act epa proposed or finalized new national water quality standards for ammonia, nutrients, slen yum and dental offices. the bottom line is the new more stringent standards are going to cause additional wastewater treatment which is going to drive waste water treatment costs up perhaps to the point of being cost prohibitive. under the recovery act, epa finalized regulations to regular golden statele cole ash from the spill in tennessee. our single coal fired power
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plant disposes of only dry ash. it is subject to the rules which preempt dnrs existing solid waste permit. in a settlement agreement under the clean air act the big stone power plant was a large source in needing to demonstrate compliance with the one-hour sulfur dioxide standard. epa never took into account the new air pollution installed at a cost of $384 million to meet the regional hazel rule. these new controls will reduce. another clean air dispute vols ozone. south dakota is one of only ten states in the nation that is with the national standards but against recommendations epa adopted a new lower standard for ozone. we are at risk of having a nonattainment status not because the air is dirtier but epa
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lowered the standards potentially below our background levels. in spops to another petition from the sierra club epa determined certain shut down and malfunction exemptions in 36 states to include south dakota are inadequate under the clean air act and need to be eliminated. our exemptions allows for emissions because certain pieces of equipment aren't fully functional when these events take place. dnrs first rule was established in 1975. it was approved by epa. and is not caused or interfered with south dakota staying in compliance with the national standards. south dakota has joined florida's lawsuit against the rule along with 15 other states. the final rule that highlights the lack of cooperative federalism is the carbon dioxide standard for existing power plants. in 2012 which is the base that epa used, 74% of the power generated in south dakota came from renewable sources. in spite of this remarkable
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record epa threatens the economic viability of the fossil fuel fired power plants we have in the united states and could strand the regional haze controls mentioned. here again our attorney general joined lawsuits against the rule most notably with west virginia. the bottom line is these requirements will have a huge impact on our citizens and on our economy. but will produce little or no noticeable benefits in south dakota. for this reason, we believe each state should have the right and the free dom to address these issues individually, using the principles of cooperative federalism on federal ichl. as stated in the executive order the framers recognize that the states possess unique authorities, qualities and abilities to meet the needs of the people and should function as lavatories of democracy. that's not the case. i hope the information is helpful to the committee. thank you again. >> thank you.
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all right. could you hold that up? according to this december 2015 timeline by the association of air pollution control agencies there are nine clean air act deadlines for states this year alone. your testimony describes a number of these epa actions as -- i'm quoting now from your statement, "we have at best overlapping and at worst conflicting directives." can you explain how competing dms impact your department? >> thank you, chairman. it is frustrating as we seek implementation of a number of regulations in a short time frame. what we see as our program staff evaluates rules and seeks implementation, we are modeling different and often conflicting results for the same source or
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facility. it often ignores the progress that the states are already making or continuing to make on different time frames. >> thank you very much. on february 23, 2016 i led some 200 house and senate members in filing an amicus brief with the d.c. circuit in opposition to epa's clean power plant. i observed mr. markowicz talking favorably about the plan. this is a win of four states exempt from it. the others would agree. the brief argues among other things that the clean power plant violate it is clean air act. i'm quoting now. epa takes a coercive approach
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that come deers the states to implement and enforce the agency's power choices. i asked mr. huffman, do you agree the clean power plan coerces states to implement policies, choices, not the choices of states. >> yes, senator. i think epa -- >> i'm sorry. thank you, senator. yes. i believe the change had to go over it. typically epa will regulate pollutants at the end of the stock, if you will or the end of the pipe. with regard to the clean power plant the only way to do it would be to put a regulatory number limit on carbon dioxide and the only way is a way to
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shut down all fossile fuel production in the country. the way they managed every minute detail of how the clean power plant. we think ran in conflict with section 111 d which give it is states authority to establish performance standards and epa has done that instead of setting the threshold to figure out how to do it. there is a little bit of confusion, lack of clarity following the supporeme court's stay of the clean power plan f. the stay is lifted do you expect compliance deadlines to be ex-eckert tenned? in other words, are you continuing to work as if the state were not -- the stay were not a reality.
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how are you preparing for it? >> mr. chairman, our plan before this stay was issued was to proceed along a path such that we could do enough to get the two-year extension. epa thinks that might be a high bar to reach. one of the items is a participation process. in response to that we established a website where people could view information and give us comments. we scheduled some meetings. we cancelled the public meetings. the word we are getting back from the legal team leading the lawsuit is they expect the deadlines will be adjusted by the courts once the decision is made.
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the expecting and the knowing are two different things. anyone else want to comment on that? senator boxer. >> as you are describing your testimony, delaware is a downwind state such as rhode island, i'm sure we hear more about that. much of the pollution in the state comes from up wind states. you see it is epa's role to ensure equity between where pollution is produced and where it is received. seems to me that's spot on. so if epa didn't set minimum standards and this went to your neighboring states sending smog and everything else over your way. we lift it allel to each state. what would it be like for the people of delaware in terms of asthma, copt and other problems
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that come from filthy air? >> thank you for the question, senator boxer. >> we can't have a feast without getting smoke in our eyes. the consequences of the emission ifs they are unabated. mentioned on testimony, some of that's a result and are simple to remedy. equipment have been installed. just not operating because the current scheme -- >> thank you. you answered that well. it would be fun. >> talk about the fact that with minimum standards, they are wonderful people there.
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they are located in a place where they get the winds. they get the pollution. so if your state, i know you get some pollution from the surrounding states but not to the extent some of the other states get it. wouldn't you think it would be fair to limit there is a link to copd, asthma and worse. can you understand the point? >> sure. >> i understand that with due respect. arkansas does have very clean and healthy air. it is difficult for a state like arkansas to, you know, reflect model assumptions made to implement states which measure and monitor clean air --
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>> that wasn't my question. my question is if you were one of the states that got a huge amount of pollution from a neighboring state which did nothing to prevent it would you put yourself in the shoes of delaware or rhode island. it's a simple yes or no. >> our states work together. we have worked with neighboring states. >> okay. so your position is your state can tell another state what to do and you are criticizing the epa and now you will say one state will tell el the other state what to do. it's not realistic at all. that's the reason we pass freshman legislation under nixon, i might say.
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we are also suffering vermont is a clean green state. we have some of the worst air pollution in the country in rutland. that's because of the way the winds come from coal burning states into vermont. and that's a problem for us. and we have tried to work cooperatively with the states to put in place those pollution controls that in many cases they have already. for vermont we want to do more. we recognize a culture of environmentalism but at a baseline when other states want to do less it impacts our quality. >> you're making my point. minimum federal standards let the states do more. i think that's what the beauty is of the clean air act which is under fierce attack. now mr. huffman, the january 2014 spill from the freedom
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industries chemical storage facilities contaminated the drinking supply of more than 300,000 residents of charleston. we are now facing another drinking water crisis in flint, michigan, where children were poisoned by the city's toxic drinking water. given these events do you think epa and the states should be doing more not less to protect the public's drinking water? >> yes. i think your point about minimum federal standards and then let the states figure it out. this is the model we should be following. that's what we should be doing. my point today and i think the frustration with west virginia is not -- for some it's about what the standards are. but the real problem for me is the way they go about implement ing the standards. they are bypassing the guidelines under the federal environmental statutes for how to implement changes. >> since my time is out and the
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chairman is coughing he wants me to stop. or it's the hot air. let me just say that i really respect what you just said. i don't think any agency -- federal government or a state agency should over step its bounds. we'll talk more about that. what you said is fair. minimum standards, yes. implemented in the right way. thank you. >> thank you, senator boxer. thank you, mr. chairman. we pride ourselves at times with a forest fire. we suffer from the smoke from that. what we understand when you want clean air, we want it, too. we think we do a good job in the state. secretary, you have spent decades administering environmental regulations on the state and federal level.
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can you explain the differences you have seen in terms of the quality and benefits of regulations that resulted from a process that incorporates more state input compared to the regulations that have been prole mull gated by the epa. >> senator rounds? based on my experience if you go back and epa rolled out an issue things get done. it works. if you don't have that process in place.
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>> talk about ozone a little bit. in south dakota we are in compliance. we are one of the few states in compliance. can you talk about what it does in terms of a state like south dakota where we are one of ten that complies with the guidelines now. you mentioned they want to make a change in this. down to perhaps below our basic numbers. can you talk a little bit about how frustrating it is. >> yes, senator. to form ozone you have to have certain emissions and has to react with sunlight. you get ozone. ozone might be in a downwind state. in south dakota we don't have -- a population of 800,000, we don't have is sources of the chemicals that react with the sunlight to form the ozone.
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the ozone in south dakota is either from up wind states or is background levels. based upon what we have seen, the new limit the epa has come out with is very close if not above background lows. >> what's the state supposed to do when not in compliance? >> we haven't been there yet. thank goodness. i would assume we would go into nonattainment status. we would have to work with epa on figuring out what to do. since we don't have the sources, i don't know what we would do. >> in your experience how would you recommend epa change the practice of making. what are the implications of the
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epa enacting broad over reaching national mandates rather than regulations that take into account the different characteristics of individual states. >> your hearing today is on cooperative federalism. if you read the executive order that i quoted in my testimony it says in there one of the principles of federalism is that those decisions that affect people that are made by the unit of government closest to the people are usually the best decisions. and we would say that's still true. >> i would suggest that during the year from 1979 on you have gone through multiple administrations. can you share with us a little bit about what you are seeing now with regard to the -- either the consultations that are either not there or the directives being laid out right now versus the way that it used to work, whether it was in a
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demonstration or a republican administration. what's different about what's going on now? >> senator, senator boxer said we are not going to reveal el the clean air act. we are not going to repeal the safe drinking water act. we are not going to repeal environmental federal acts. i don't think anybody wants to repeal those federal acts. when those acts were put in place, there were real problems in this country. the environment was really, really suffering. that was the reason those acts were put in place. in the intervening time period now tremendous progress has been made. our water is cleaner. our drinking water is safer. our air is cleaner. so what bothers me some about this so now we are trying to ratchet down to the next
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environmental problem and we are getting to such lowle levels that we are going to spend a lot of time. we are going to spend a lot of time. we are going to spend a lot of resources. in the end, what's going to be the benefit? >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator rounds. i mentioned in my opening statement all the acts to clean water, clean air, we in the republican side were supportive of that. i was one of the initial cosponsors. i wouldn't want people to think these things aren't working. they are. we understand that. senator? >> thanks so much and thanks to you. just to follow up on what alex said. for the time alex was serving in the department of natural resources i was governor for eight years and chairman of the national governors association for a while. i get the idea that the states
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are laboratories of democracies. i like the idea that they would set standards and you figure out how to do it. figure out the most cost effective way. i think the six points you outlined in your testimony and numerous trips over them el again and ask everybody on the panelle if you agree with those. before i do that, just to think about tell el graphing the pitch. thinking what he said and how you feel about that. the chairman and i go to a bible study that meets most thursdays. i have been to a prayer breakfast this morning. we do try to figure it out and abide by it. one of the things all of us agree and i don't care what religion we are, treat other people the way we want to be treated. that's a standard we can embrace. it's there. in your religion. it applies here. i could have shut down the state of delaware's economy when i was governor. literally shut it down an we
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would have been out of compliance. that's not fair. it's not right. that's why we need others to be a good neighbor and look out for their neighbor. some places in the midwest where they created cheap energy, burned coal. 500 foot tall -- what do they call them -- smokestacks. put the stuff up in the air. it blows over to the east coast. we end up with dirty air. we have to spend more money to clean our air because other people are getting cheap electricity. it's not right. we have to keep it in mind. we made great progress. i was at ohio state university. there is a river, cuyahoga
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river. the river goes right by the train station. we can't eat the fish there. in fact, we can't eat the fish in most of the rivers in my state. a lot of rivers in a lot of other states where they can't eat the fish either. the river doesn't catch on fire anymore but we still can't eat the fish. we have to be guided by sound science. part of the real problems for air pollution is the size of the particul particulates that get into our lungs are the most dangerous are the smallest . the really dangerous stuff is the tiny micro dots. i'm asking you to keep that in mind. i want to go back to ali. he made six points. i want everybody to think whether or not you think he's on target. he said i believe epa can best fulfill the role by fulfilling sound science, epa must set national standards as
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congressman dated which rely on sound science. that's number one. flexibility. once epa establishes standards, appropriate flexibility to meet obligations rnd the clean air act and protect public health and the environment. number three, timely rules and guidance. important that epa issue timely implementation rules and guidance for use by the states. number four, accountability. epa should be consistent in the outcomes outcom outcomes. for meeting their commitments. number five, equity. epa must provide for a level playing field among the states. the golden rule i was laying out. finally nationalized sources. epa must address sources at states preempted from regulating or lack of regulatory expertise that are most effectively regular golden stated on a national level. it's laid out well.
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it makes sense. we have showed tremendous flexibility. >> those are great principles. the execution follows that idea. >> i can think of this as a menu. >> no biscuits and gravy. i agree. thes are good principles. it comes down to the implementation and how we can work cooperatively and find solutions rather than create new challenges. >> thank you. >> i would agree with those six points as welle. as the other witnesses have said it's basically how you carry it out. >> i would say the ayes have it. >> thank you.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. serves as the vice wing commander. thank you for your service there. i thought it was interesting. i'm glad the senator went to the principles you laid out. i was going to use it in terms of my questioning. secretary huffman, you have highlighted section 303 of the clean water act of the testimony. basically it says the epa established the state's water quality standard meets the requirements of the clean water act. if the epa determined that a water qualitile standard isn't consistent by law the epa has to notify within 90 days. my understanding is the west virginia legislature approved a change in the water quality. the epa failed to approve or deny the change within 90 days.
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i think the substance we are talking about today isn't so much the standards you mentioned but the implementation, the lawfulness the federal agency has moving forward. in my view with them not notifying in the timely fashion or giving you good direction it violates timely rules and guidance that the secretary from delaware or the director of delaware was talking about. and the accountability. how vital is the feedback for epa that it come in a timely fashion so you can fully implement. >> it's critical because there are a lot of moving parts. there is a lot going on. we need to make requests and move on. what's frustrating is i can
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submit a water quality standard and wrangle for months and years. when you get an opportunity to comment on proposed rules you may have three, four days. that's frustrating. it makes me wonder if i were a conspiracy theorist what the agenda is, what's going on here. it's frustrating. >> let me ask you the difference between rules and regulations. you brought it up in your testimony. you see it throughout the administration in terms of offering guidance instead of rule making because it evades the aspects of creating a regulation. are you getting more guidance than in the past? is it more difficult? are there enforcement mechanisms? >> well, guidance, when you govern by guidance instead of going through the protocols that the congress has set up in our environmental statute allows you
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to get by with more. it allows you to avoid transparency and get to your point. we are seeing a lot of that. >> i think most of you mentioned that what you need is the federal minimum standard, nobody has a problem with that. it's the imple men tags aspect of it. most of you have mentioned the flexibility the states need to have. obviously in west virginia, we have a much different situation than you have in vermont. we are blessed with a lot of coal and we use it and have used it. we are cleaning it up every day. it's a bigger challenge for us. we need the flexibility in west virginia to meet the standards. as every member would say clean air and water is important and we can eat a lot of the fish we catch in west virginia. we are happy about that. is the flexibility aspect
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probably the most difficult hurdle for you all to over come? i will start with you. i don't know if it's the flexibility or frustration. i know we are running out of time here. the frustration seems to be the way it's inconvenient to involvele the public, the states. it takes time. if you want to make a rule it takes time. the convenient way would be by fiat to impose it upon the states. we are saying there is little to no flexibilitile. it's already written. by the time we get it, it's written and the minds are made up. it's difficultle. >> you agreed to participate with osm to develop a new stream buffer rule. many states were involved with
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this. because of the numerous frustrations and really the lack of listening that osm is doing most of the states pulled out of this. is that correct? ? >> that was a draft of the rule. s it was mistakenly made public within days of us signing on as a cooperating agency. it was already written. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me associate myself with the remarks of governor. now senator as the attorney general of my state, rhode island. i saw exactly the circumstance he very well described not only did the up wind states not make an effort to treat us fairly, we often had to try to soothe the upwind states with epa or sometimes even sue epa to enforce compliance with the clean air act. on a perfect rhode island summer morning you could trooi to, wo
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and hear on the radio a warning that today was a bad air day. and the children and the elderly and people with breathing difficulties should stay indoors. stay indoors. like delaware we could have shut down every outlet of emissions in the state of rhode island and not gotten ourselves into compliance because it came from other states. other states that fought compliance. other state that is often had not put scrubbers on smokestacks yet. other states that specifically built high smokestacks so it would project the emissions out of their state. they were very often states in compliance with the air regulations even though they were the source of emissions taking rhode island out of
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compliance. so i know there are going to be states that will be unhappy with epa regulation. they would move to have the regulation be as close to the people as possible because those people wangled it to export pollution to my state and not have to pay for it and not have to clean it up. that's a real problem i think epa has to address. it's very important to our downwind states. it's just not fair for kids in rhode island not to play on a summer today because they are having a bad air today. as epa crocked down more and more sometime it is states have sued or acted on their own. our bad air days are diminishing. but it took epa to get after the states that were happy to go along with the gag. they made their pollution somebody else's problem. that somebody else was my rhode island children, elderly and
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people breathing tichbt. for the record, our engagement with region one of epa is terrific in rhode island. we don't have complaints. we talked back and forth. very open. no problem. i don't know if there is significance to the fact that the states that seem to be more in the export business are the ones that have more of a problem with epa and the ones that are more in the we are get ing clobbered business appreciate epa. but certainly from rhode island's perspective we appreciate very much what epa is doing. let me ask a quick question to see where folks stand. to carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning cause changes in our atmosphere and oceans that portend harm to people and eco-systems? >> senator, i'm not going to enter into that particular debate.
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what i would argue is has to be done in a way that works and is feasible. it simply wasn't feeble at all. >> why aren't you willinging to answer if fossile fuel emissions harm human beings. why aren't you willing to enter into a debate. >> i'm not an expert in that particular topic. >> do fossil fuel emissions from burning cause problems in the oceans that portend harm to humans and eco-systems? >> i think you can find scientists that say both, yes and no. >> what do you say? >> well, i am not an expert either as the other witness indicated. >> mr. huffman, do carbon
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emissions from fossil fuel burning -- >> i believe -- i'm sorry. i didn't mean to interrupt you. i'm sorry. i do believe the science would indicate that our climate is changing. i think there is a lot of unfortunatelile we are having the debate in the wrong place in this country over climate change. we are name calling. it is reduced to name calling over whether you believe or don't believe in climate change. sure, the climate is changing. what we need to debate is what we should be doing about it. i don't know that we have come together as a nation on that. >> every national lab, the u.s. military noaa and nasa and every one of the lead home state universities would have found that an easy question to answer with a plain and simple yes. thanks.
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>> senator boseman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in your testimony you cited dramatic increase in time -- i'm sorry, dramatic decrease in time and tolerance for state implementation and increase in the federal implementation plans under the administration as depicted in the chart. the obama epa has taken over state programs, 54 times, more than the three previous administrations combined times ten. >> director. are you concerned about the trend? isn't it true state trends are integral to the federalism structure and federal plans were intended only as a last resort. >> thank you, senator. we are concerned about this trend. we understand that federal plans may be necessary sometimes in
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circumstances where states do not act or choose not to act. but the frequency and process of the fips have become so alarming mainly because they take a federal solution that may be developed in a very short period of time with limited information and replace a very thoughtful and extensive process at a state level. where we have dealt with what could be a reasonable solution. we vet it through transparent processes and also search out whether we have unintended consequences. that's our big concern. that we replace our well thought out judgment with somebody else's solution that may not have seen the same thoughtfulle process. >> as you know, under the region unanimous haze program, states develop implementation programs. epa has the ability to reject the state plan. and issue a federal plan instead.
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in arkansas epa reprojected the state plan and proposed an expensive federal take over. trek tor, is it true the state plan was on track to achieve natural visibility conditions? >> yes, sir. >> and this proposed federal regional hayes plan for arkansas, did epa go beyond its limited procedural role prescribe bid the clean air act? >> in arkansas, we do believe so. and, in fact, when i asked epa when they offered up the federal proposal why they expanded the scope of the regional hayes plan to include sources that were not legally authorized under the rule, epa answered "because we can." >> how will the requirements intact with the clean power sflant are the timelines intertwined in a complicated way? >> they are for arkansas at
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least. our state air experts that evaluated both rules and have been working diligently to assess impacts and solutions looked at models. it's important show that the model under the hayes plan where they take into account cost effectiveness assumes a source could install multimillion dollar control equipment and do it cost effectively. however when you look at the models in the timelines of the clean power plan that same source no longer operates a few years later. that would be a costly mistake for arkansasens to pay for to install multimillion dollar controls to have the source shut down to comply with the subsequent rule compliance state. >> thank you.
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we talked about the unfunded mandates. i think we can all agree that's a problem. randy, can you address that a bit? >> it's always been an issue. the funding for the vast majority, i don't know the number of our environmental programs in the states is provided by by the states either through the general fund budgets more to our case there's a lot of special revenue type account through assessments and fees on the industries we regulate. i don't know that i've seen an analysis by epa when a new rule is imposed or a new guidance. there's never an analysis done on what the -- that i've seen
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that would indicate what the costs are that are associated with it. >> thank you. ma many bozeman, mr. marquee? >> ali, you're like a celebrity now like bono or madonna. some of the people have expressed concern about not being able to change epa from its draft reform based on inputs from the state's industry and other stakeholders. do you find the epa is listening to you in terms of the flexibility which you've been expressing. >> i do. especially in terms of clean power plant. i think outreach, level of
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outreach, dialogue, stakeholder environment was unprecedented in that effort. we see market difference between what was proposed. we see all comments reflected. >> there was a discussion of deadlines approaching for the clean air act. the massachusetts department of environmental protection has correspond corresponded and noted that massachusetts will meet the deadlines. will delaware meet the deadlines as well? >> we absolutely will be. >> will vermont be able to meet the deadlines? >> we absolutely will be. i want to acknowledge under the clean power plan we don't have regulated entities so we don't have an obligation there. in answer to your earlier question, though, there was an
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unprecedented involvement, even a vermont in the development of those rules because we're deeply concerned that whatever the implementation is that it could include the regional greenhouse gas initiative that we're part of. >> so let me follow up with you secretary markowits. if they meet national standards set by the epa, given the ongoing situation in flint, michigan, it's clear that we still have a long way to go to ensure safe drinking water for every american. what are the ways that we can enhance federal/state cooperation to ensure safe drinking water for all in our country? >> this is an area where we have an issue with a chemical pfoa which was not a regulated chemical which is nevertheless a carcinogen and and endocrine disruptor that has been found in wells in bennington. it's used in the making of
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teflon and we really rely on epa and their scientific expertise to help us manage that. in addition, they have come out with some new rules and standards and limits in copper and some other things we can find in our drinking water. this is an area of partnership that's really important. the standards that they set is help us ensure vermonters are healthy when they're taking water from their taps. >> ali, let me come back to you. i think as we're all aware climate change is a global problem. but it requires local solutions in order to solve the problem. and you know pope francis who taught high school chemistry came to congress to preach his sermon on the hill to us to tell us that the planet was warming
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and the science proved that and that human beings were contributing to it and the science proved that and that we had a moral responsibility to be the leaders for the planet. so my question is, since both delaware and vermont are part of the regional greenhouse gas initiative which has been partnering now for six or eight, tin years to reduce greenhouse gases, can you talk about how the epa has been coordinating with you to ensure that this problem, this global warming problem, can be solved by cooperation amongst the states and working with the states? >> thank you for the question, senator. they have been. one of the key comments we made after proposal was for epa's final rule to accommodate and use the framework that we already said on the regi.
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it's been accommodated. we think our solution is a very good solution that can be expandable nationwide. >> thank you. and appreciate kind of the intrastate aspect of this as well, much less the international aspect. no question about it. but there has to be cooperation. silvio conti, a congressman from western massachusetts and i, we introduced the first acid rain bill in 1981. it took until 1909 01990. that was because people were putting smokestacks football field high in the air and blowing smoke towards us so we were the once affected, vermont and all the new england states and so it's clear that unless we work together we can't solve problems of that magnitude so we thank you for your work in trying to establish that. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator fisher? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you senator boxer for
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holding this hearing today and thanks to the witnesses for coming. the nebraska department of environmental quality shares in the concerns that have been expressed by many of the witnesses today. in the letter addressed to the committee, our state has written that "while nebraska has a good working relationship with epa region seven, recent epa headquarters regulatory actions have snowballed. epa's pulsive tinkering with standards and limits often before states have had a reasonable chance to comply make it difficult to reconcile those often-competing priorities." secretary pern er, you state tht nearly all federal requirements will have an impact on your state, its citizens and its economy but will "produce little or no benefits in protecting public health and the environment."
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like my home state of nebraska, south dakota is a rural state that hosts many unique and critical natural resoursces tha benefit citizens and communities. can you elaborate on the challenges many rural communities will face as a result of expandive epa regulations and what are the economic impacts in terms of job growth and industry investment from the epa rules? >> senator, i think -- you know, part of my concern is that on the water quality and effluent standards that i talked about in my testimony, it's not that we're against having minimum standards, but now we're ratcheting those standards down to such a degree as to be almost infeesable in some cases. you know, i'll just talk about the


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