Why the Interior Department has the “worst interior design” report
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday that the Interior department has been “disingenuous” about the report’s findings and that the agency is “committed to working with Congress and the states to provide the best possible information.”
“We need to have a more informed debate about the best way to improve the quality of life for Americans and the best ways to reduce the risks to our communities,” Zinke told reporters during a news conference with Interior Secretary Gina McCarthy.
“We need a better answer to that question.
We have to start with the facts.”
Zinke noted that the report does not specifically mention climate change or air quality issues, but said that “it has identified some serious problems.”
The report does cite the lack of information on how to improve air quality in some communities, but it does not specify how.
The report also found that in some cases, the states did not have the data needed to improve on air quality.
The report notes that some states have “significant gaps” in the way they are implementing the recommendations, while others have not even started to implement the recommendations.
For example, in some of the communities it identified, the report states that only 15 percent of state officials had a data-driven approach to environmental quality, while in others, the percentage was only about 30 percent.
In many cases, Zinke suggested that the data-heavy approach is a problem that is being corrected.
In some cases states have already begun to improve their environmental performance, Zinere said.
He cited a report from the state of Michigan that was completed in the first half of 2020.
The department has already launched more than 30 pilot programs aimed at improving environmental quality.
The departments chief of staff, for example, said in a letter to Zinke that the department had conducted a study of air quality at the Flint Water Treatment Plant and found that the plant was not achieving its targets.