EPA Set to Lose Key Prevention Programs Under Budget Cuts

By Yessenia Funes Apr 04, 2017

Proposed EPA cuts under the Trump administration will hit lead poisoning prevention grants, climate change research and punishing polluters, according to Bloomberg.

The news site received a 64-page internal budget memo, dated March 21, from the American Federation of Government Employees yesterday (April 3) that laid out the specifics of President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the environmental agency.

The document lists more than 200 programs that would either be eliminated or cut, including ones on indoor radon pollution, coastal waterway protection and oil spill prevention. Bloomberg reports that more than 200 positions for climate change and protection research would be lost.

Another 34 jobs on criminal enforcement would go with an accompanying $1.5 million. This would make states and tribes responsible for enforcing environmental rules and law.

"We understand the core missions of EPA are antipollution enforcement and regulation. They appear to be substantially cutting both," said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, to Bloomberg. "How any of this benefits the environment or public health remains unclear."

Pollution protection and criminal enforcement are key pillars to sustaining environmental justice. Communities of color are more likely to live near pollution emitters or toxic sites, and holding those responsible accountable is necessary in protecting these vulnerable communities.

(H/t Bloomberg)