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Bush administration deregulates wetlands

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Parenteau is to discuss wetlands today at a statewide environmental conference in Myrtle Beach. Parenteau said the Bush administration is exploiting recent federal court rulings to deregulate wetlands.

Posted on Thu, Oct. 16, 2003

Ex-EPA official condemns policies
Staff Writer

A former Environmental Protection Agency lawyer blasted the Bush administration’s environmental policies during a series of talks this week in Columbia.

Patrick Parenteau, an EPA legal counsel in New England during the Reagan administration, said Bush has put the brakes on advances the nation has made in environmental law.

The Bush administration, for example, has made changes to forest policy and air pollution rules that will allow more tree-cutting and more pollution, Parenteau said.

“A lot of this is happening under the radar,” said Parenteau, now a professor at the Vermont Law School. “I’ve never seen such a full-scale assault on environmental law in all my time.”

Environmentalists and Bush have been at war for most of his administration over the president’s policies.

Bush officials were not immediately available Wednesday, but officials have said changes to environmental laws and policies will more efficiently cleanse the air, protect forests and improve other parts of the environment.

Parenteau spoke Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of South Carolina. His talks were sponsored by the USC environmental and law schools, and the Sustainable Universities Initiative.

Parenteau is to discuss wetlands today at a statewide environmental conference in Myrtle Beach. Parenteau said the Bush administration is exploiting recent federal court rulings to deregulate wetlands.

Parenteau served as EPA regional counsel from 1984-87 and is a former commissioner at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. He also served as a special counsel to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1991 and 1992. Parenteau is a former vice president with the National Wildlife Federation, a conservation group.

Contact Fretwell at (803) 771-8537 or

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