Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., answers questions during a presidential forum held by She The People on the Texas State University campus Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Booker has a plan to boost Environmental Protection Agency

April 26, 2019 - 4:00 am

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker is introducing a plan to help vulnerable communities by strengthening the Environmental Protection Agency.

The New Jersey senator is set to unveil the first phase of his environmental justice agenda in South Carolina on Friday. His proposal would protect marginalized communities by holding polluters accountable and reversing the Trump administration's rollback of environmental protections.

Booker says the Trump administration "has gutted the EPA, rolled back clean air and clean water protections and allowed polluters to go unchecked," harming vulnerable communities.

Booker's plan includes forcing polluters to pay for cleanup; doubling the fees on coal mine operators to help fund the cleanup of abandoned mines; boosting EPA staffing; and increasing resources for enforcing the Safe Drinking Water Act.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has said unsafe drinking water is the world's most immediate public health issue.