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PNS Weekend Newscast - July 22nd, 2017 


Here's a look at what we're covering: The new White House communications director is expressing his love and loyalty to Donald Trump, more meetings between then Senator Jeff Sessions and the Russians being disclosed, and environmental groups say drilling in New York has contaminated wells.

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Environment and Health After 100 Days of Trump

One hundred days in, environmental groups say some of President Trump's policies could be a serious threat to human health. (White House Photographer)
One hundred days in, environmental groups say some of President Trump's policies could be a serious threat to human health. (White House Photographer)
May 1, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. -- Three months into President Trump's term, conservationists say his administration is in the process of dismantling important environmental rules - almost all of which directly protect human health.

Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, pointed to what she called a "dizzying" number of attacks on clean water, fuel economy and climate protections.

"The purity of the water we drink, the cleanliness of the air we breathe and sanctity of the places that we recreate - not just alarming. We believe in that some cases that they're illegal,” Suh said of the president’s moves.

At a campaign-style rally to mark his first 100 days in office, Trump told supporters that cutting environmental rules was part of his effort to speed up job growth. But Suh said one recent poll found many of those steps are unpopular with voters.

She said her group expects to challenge many of Trump's attempted rollbacks in court.

Trump's budget outline includes steep cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency. Suh said folks need to keep in mind that many of the rules enforced by the EPA are designed to protect people's health and well-being.

"Thirty percent cuts to that agency, that's literally like taking cops off the beat,” she said. "It will prevent EPA from protecting us and it will certainly allow polluters to have a greater license."

Over the weekend, more than a quarter-million people marched in Washington against the roll-back of climate rules. Others joined hundreds of marches across the country, including in Leesburg, Frederick and Culpepper.

Suh said the many demonstrations against Trump's policies have been good news.

"Tens of millions of Americans [are] saying, 'This is not what we voted for. A dirty environment does not make America great again, and we are going to stand up for our rights that make our standard of living and our quality of life the envy of the world,’ “ she said.

The administration said it would debate whether to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement in an important internal meeting. But that meeting was delayed, and the decision has been put off indefinitely.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - VA