Although most of the Congressional agenda items and activities that COTE Advocacy has been monitoring have been suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump Administration continues to roll back environmental protections by changing the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies. As an independent executive agency, the EPA has broad authority to interpret and enforce Congressional regulations and – as such – changes to EPA policy can be directed by the Administration.
Since 2007, however, many of the EPA’s nearly 100 deregulatory orders have been challenged in court by US states, environmental and legal groups, and by the American Institute of Architects. The AIA has filed letters of objection to a half-dozen proposed EPA rollbacks since 2008, and is are currently drafting a letter of opposition to the fast-tracked “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” rule that would prevent anonymous medical data from being used to evaluate regulations, thereby negating the value of human health science at a time when health science data is most critical to have.
In addition, the AIA Board’s Government Advocacy Committee (GAC) is currently drafting a unified public policy document called the “Architects’ Platform 2020.” This single non-partisan document will be delivered at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions in August this year. Following the Board’s adoption of the AIA Climate Action Plan and the AIA Framework for Design Excellence, this document will lead with “Climate Action” as the AIA’s top policy area. Calling the Architect’s Platform a means to “connect our priorities to the next Administration and outline the steps they must take, through their leadership in tandem with Congress, to build the future our citizens deserve,” GAC Chair Tim Hawk, FAIA, has solicited the input of many AIA Knowledge Communities including the AIA Committee on the Environment’s National Advisory Group and the AIA Sustainability Leadership Group in drafting this first-of-its-kind position paper.