0559 GMT August 22, 2019
According to syracuse.com, Judith Enck, who served as Region 2 administrator from 2009 to 2017, said, "This is a real threat to public health.
"I think we're going to look back and see that our drinking water will be dirtier and our air will be dirtier."
Enck was a keynote speaker at the Climate Change Summit held at Fowler High School.
More than 100 people attended the event, which included presentations and workshops on renewable energy, energy efficiency, green jobs and environmental justice.
Enck criticized current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for rolling back at least 20 environmental regulations and proposing to do away with twice that many.
Chief among them, she said, was the Clean Power Plan, created under President Obama, that would have required power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Enck said, "That was the premiere climate change regulation of the Obama administration.”
Carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas because it traps heat, which climate scientists say is warming the planet.
An EPA spokesman declined to directly address Enck's remarks, but emailed an excerpt of an EPA news release from March.
Pruitt added, "In just one year, we have made tremendous progress implementing President Trump's agenda by refocusing the agency to its core mission, restoring power to the states through cooperative federalism, and adhering to the rule of law.”
Enck, who lives in Rensselaer County and works for a Washington, DC, environmental group, also urged activists to oppose a large trash incinerator proposed for the town of Romulus, which sits between the two largest Finger Lakes, Cayuga and Seneca.
Enck said, "This is really frightening to me. With everything we know about pollution from incinerators, to have a huge incinerator in the heart of the Finger Lakes is a disaster."