The president’s administration has been pushing the EPA to act on pollution problems in Pennsylvania and elsewhere that were caused by pollution from an industrial waste incinerator, the president’s appointees told a Senate committee on Tuesday.
The Trump administration’s top environmental official has said that while the EPA’s investigation into the incinerator is ongoing, the administration is looking into the sewage problems at two other plants in the Philadelphia area.
The Environmental Protection Agency has said the Philadelphia plant, owned by Waste Management, is clean and operated in accordance with state and federal regulations.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been trying to get the EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to make sure the Pennsylvania plant is operating in a way that will not endanger residents or the environment, according to the Senate panel’s chairman, Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.
Cardin said the EPA would like to meet with Pennsylvania officials in coming days to determine how to best proceed with the incinerators, and he said he hoped the EPA could come up with a plan that would be satisfactory to Pennsylvania residents.
The Philadelphia plant is owned by a subsidiary of Waste Management and the PA Department of Environment.
The state has said it does not have the power to enforce its environmental laws.
Trump and his top EPA appointees have said that the EPA should focus on the incineration problems in Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania EPA said in a statement that the Pennsylvania EPA was “working to ensure the Pennsylvania incinerator complies with all applicable state and Federal law.”
Waste Management has said there are no problems with the plant.
Cardin noted that Waste Management is the owner of the incinerated waste at the Pennsylvania facility.
The Pennsylvania Department Of Environmental Protection is working with EPA to evaluate the Pennsylvania site, which has been in operation since 2011.
The state said it has received an initial report from the EPA showing the incinerant is safe, and the state is “monitoring the situation as it develops.”
Wastewater is typically used to create a slurry that makes up a fertilizer plant.
The EPA’s website says the incinerating process produces waste that is typically treated with a chemical called sodium hydroxide.
The site in Philadelphia has been under construction since 2011, but it was completed in 2017.
Last year, the EPA said it had found that the Philadelphia incinerator was not in compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
Environmental groups and others said that finding was critical.
The chemical used to treat the waste is sodium hydroxychloride, or NaOH.
The EPA says it’s the most common and most environmentally benign way to treat waste.