Biden Administration Cracking down on Over 200 Businesses Over Toxic Pollution

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Apr 26, 2024

New government regulations have been announced by the Biden administration to cut down toxic pollution in the country.

They cite that the enforcement of the health and well-being of nearby communities take precedent in the decision.

New Regulations for Toxic Emissions

In an ongoing effort to charge the lead on environmental justice, Biden and VP Kamala Harris have announced a new set of regulations focusing on toxic pollution from industrial plants.

VP Kamala Harris walks down the stairs of a large white plane with a flight employee standing at the bottom of the steps and another man wearing a dark suit waiting for her

Source: EPA/Wikipedia Commons

The ruling will be placed under the Environmental Protection Agency and focus on more than 200 chemical plants to reduce harmful waste, toxic water run-off, and radiation. 

Companies Linked To Carcinogenic Chemicals

The companies being targeted  have been known to create massive waste and air pollution linked to cancer levels in nearby communities.

A view of a large chemical manufacturing plant surrounded by large equipment and trees

Source: Arnoldius/Wikipedia Commons

The run-off from chemical plants has been proved to be carcinogenic in recent reports. The government hopes to eliminate some of the toxic pollution to protect citizens.

Two Specific Pollutants Are Being Targeted

In the documents, two chemicals are the target of the cancer-causing hunt: ethylene oxide and chloroprene.

A close up view of metal equipment and pipes inside of a factory

Source: Crystal Kwok/Unsplash

Ethylene oxide is used as a sterilizer and chloroprene is a toxin used to make rubber footwear.

Ruling Focusing on Specific Manufacturers

The majority of the 200 companies who are currently using these chemicals are located along the Gulf Coast, Ohio River Valley, and West Virginia.

An aerial view of small houses and farms next to the coast of a large river.

Source: Arnold Roy/Unsplash

The neighborhoods surrounding these areas have high levels of cancers linked to toxic pollution.

Black and Hispanic Communities at Risk for Developing Cancers

Because the housing nearby these massive factories are usually filled with low-income families, many of them have higher than average levels of Black and Hispanic families.

A massive pile of oil barrels at the Exxon refinery

Source: EPA/Wikipedia Commons

In Louisiana, the area just outside of a string of factories has been called “cancer alley”. An 85-mile stretch of communities from the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge where the cancer rate is 700 times the national average.


Federal Government Focused on the Disparities

Real people and large communities have been affected by the massive cancer rates for decades. The main cause in many communities are pollution and toxic radiation coming from large factories and manufacturers. 

A large power plant filled with large machinery next to a body of water

Source: @Waterkeeper/X

Now, the Biden administration is focused on holding big companies accountable for causing the massive cancer rates in these communities from water run-off and air pollution.


Air Pollutants Expected To Decrease Massively

Due to the new ruling, experts think that the air pollutants from these companies will decrease by 6,200 tons.

A woman carries buckets of garbage next to a dirty river and a shore covered in broken bricks and waste

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Massive industrial plants are one of the biggest causes of pollution in America today. These new regulations could have a positive sweeping effect throughout public health in the country.


Biodiversity of the Environment Also an Important Factor

Aside from the massively beneficial changes to human health, the new ruling is also expected to have a positive outcome on the national environment.

A group of people wearing business attire sit on a stage while giving a presentation

Source: Net Zero World/Wikipedia Commons

New EPA guidelines will help the U.S. reach its net-zero 2050 goal and will improve overall air quality. The decision by the Biden team is the first big change to EPA regulations in two decades.


What Is a Net-Zero Goal?

After Biden launched his plan for a cleaner environment, he promised to reach a “net-zero greenhouse gas emission” by 2050.

An aerial view of the tops of trees in a rainforest

Source: @MRobertsQLD/X

The goal essentially means that the country will negate the amount of greenhouse gasses emitting from human activity. This doesn’t mean that there can be no emissions at all, but rather, any toxic fumes emitted will have to have a balanced positive action to cancel out any harm done.


Biden Has Built His Platform on Environmental Protection

A big part of the federal democratic platform has been the focus on environmental protections in the U.S.

A view of a large range of mountains with colorful fall foliage in the foreground

Source: @DescansoGardens/X

Just last month, Pres. Biden increased the space of two National Monuments in California to expand the size of protected land in the state. The San Gabriel Mountains and the Berryessa Snow Mountain ranges were expanded in an effort to push environmental protections and allow access to lower-income families in L.A.


Protection Agencies Marking the Ruling as a Big Win

Patrice Simms, the Earthjustice Vice President for Healthy Communities rejoiced in a public press release about the ruling.

Two men sit on stage wearing dark suits

Source: @Earthjustice/X

He said that “today marks a victory in the pursuit of environmental justice, with the final rule poised to significantly reduce the toxic air pollution that harms communities in Texas’s Gulf Coast, Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, and throughout the U.S.”