Press Releases

Trump Signs Executive Order to Silence the Voices of Americans Fighting Toxic Polluters in Their Communities


Contact: Thomas Fox, Center for Environmental Health,
Ruben F. Diaz, Center for Environmental Health,


OAKLAND, CA–Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order instructing agencies to waive critical regulations intended to protect environmental and public health, including the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In response, environmental health watchdog CEH issues the following statement:

“Advocacy in America comes in a lot of forms.  From protesting in the streets to conducting research so we can hold the nation’s worst polluters accountable for toxic chemicals overwhelming our environment and our bodies. The current Administration has shown time and again, but never as brutal as this week, how much it wants to silence and suppress advocates and activists from speaking truth to power. 

On the heels of a vicious attack on peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters outside the White House, an executive order signed by President Trump yesterday aims to weaken critical environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA gives the public notice when massive projects like highways, pipelines and power plants are proposed in their community and gives them an opportunity to raise important health and safety concerns.

NEPA protects the voices of real people fighting mega corporations in their own neighborhoods, including low-income and minority communities who are disproportionately exposed to pollution and toxic substances at work, in schools, and in their homes. Eliminating public input around infrastructure projects is the exact opposite of what should happen right now. Trump’s executive order reflects his contempt for public participation in our democracy and the health of communities of color on the frontlines of the nations’ most toxic industries. As the nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we face an opportunity to rebuild an economy that puts people first, not polluters. Unfortunately, his latest threat won’t be his last. Center for Environmental Health pledges to push back against these injustices and live by our promise to create a healthier environment for all.”