There are conflicting views in Johnson County of the administration's environmental rollbacks. There is talk that the federal government should get out of people's lives, even as local officials have called on the E.P.A. to take over the response to the contamination.

"When it comes to public health, we can go against party lines. And I don't agree with trying to roll back the E.P.A.'s role," said Steve Barnett, Franklin's mayor and a Republican. "Back in the day, there weren't any rules. That's why there was so much contamination," he said.

Many members of If It Was Your Child in the Franklin area play down the politics, noting that both parties have let the cleanup fall by the wayside. Nevertheless, their demands come at a time when the Trump administration has weakened the very rules that could prevent another Franklin.

"We should not have to fight Republicans or Democrats to save our children. It's not a political fight for us," said Stacie Davidson, a Trump voter who co-founded the parents' group with Mrs. Rhinehart (who didn't vote for Mr. Trump).

Mrs. Davidson said, "His loosening of E.P.A. regulations, it's infuriating." She added, "We're ruining the environment for money."

Mrs. Davidson learned in 2014 that her stepson, Zane, who was 10 at the time, had a rare form of leukemia. He is now in remission. She has traveled to Washington to speak in favor of stronger TCE regulations. "What we're fighting for is seemingly being undone right now," she said.

Still, she said, she did not regret her vote. "Trump's a businessman. There are great things he can do for our country. But he's used to building high rises for money," she said. "He's not as environmentally savvy. Our hope is that he surrounds himself with people who are more knowledgeable."


Despite the emergence of alternatives to TCE, the Trump administration has stalled action on restricting its use. "There have been greener alternatives to TCE for years," said Tom Forsythe, an executive vice president at Kyzen, a Tennessee cleaning-materials company, who joined E.P.A. officials in a conference call in August 2017 to lay out other options.


"I see good things that Trump has done," said Mr. Barnett, the mayor, emphasizing his town's future. "The economy's good. There's been a lot of investment into our city."

So sad to see kids literally poisoned to death because Trump panders to support from business and industry, meanwhile, the effected communities make excuses for Trump based on fictions of all the good he's doing. (Were these same people praising Obama for "surrounding himself with knowledgeable people", or the "economy doing well" on his watch? Our money's on "probably not"...)

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