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President Proposes Cuts to EPA

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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The federal agency responsible for environmental protection efforts, enforcing lead-based paint renovation laws, and regulating chemicals found in paints and coatings would see a 31 percent slash in its budget under President Donald J. Trump’s 2018 preliminary budget proposal.

In his first White House budget plan released March 16, President Trump submitted to Congress a blueprint spending plan for fiscal year 2018 that increases military spending and “reprioritize[s] Federal spending so that it advances the safety and security of the American people.” A full budget proposal is set for later this spring, but this document is intended to start Congressional conversation.

Energy Star
Photo by MoneyBlogNewz via Flickr

Some 3,200 EPA employees would lose their jobs and more than 50 EPA programs, including Energy Star and other initiatives, would be on the eliminated, according to the budget blueprint.

Reactions to the document have been mixed. Congress could temper the President’s proposals in deliberations, reports Reuters.

EPA Budget Details

The president proposes a $5.7 billion budget for the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s down from its 2017 budget of $8.1 billion. The cuts reflect “the President’s priority to ease the burden of unnecessary Federal regulations that impose significant costs for workers and consumers without justifiable environmental benefits.”

Some 3,200 agency employees would lose their jobs and more than 50 EPA programs, including Energy Star and other initiatives, would be eliminated, according to the budget blueprint.

The proposal also indicates EPA’s enforcement budget would be $129 million below its 2017 level. EPA enforcement efforts would be refocused to areas not addressed by states, cutting the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance from $548 million to $419 million.

The administration stresses drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in the budget document, increasing funding to the State Revolving Funds by $4 million to $2.3 billion, and providing $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

The Clean Power Plan, which focuses on climate change and renewable energy, would be cut completely. Superfund cleanup would be cut by about a third, down $330 million to $762 million. The EPA’s Office of Research and Development would have its funding reduced by nearly half, from $483 million to $250 million, shrinking or eliminating programs like STAR research grants.

HUD, DOL Plans

The President requests a $40.7 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a 13.2 percent decrease from the year prior, according to the document.

The budget would “promote healthy and lead-safe homes” by providing $130 million, an increase of $20 million over 2017, for the mitigation of lead-based paint and other hazards in low-income homes, according to the blueprint.

The budget cuts the Department of Labor’s discretionary spending by $2.5 billion, or 21 percent, eliminating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s $11 million training grants program, which the administration calls “unproven.”

The budget purports to “help States expand apprenticeship, an evidence-based approach to preparing workers for jobs.”

   

Tagged categories: Department of Labor; Enforcement; Environmental Protection; EPA; Health and safety; Housing; HUD; Lead; Regulations

Comment from peter gibson, (3/23/2017, 1:42 PM)

Perfect. Don't need the EPA getting in the way of commerce. Excellent news. Been waiting for this. Has China,India, Brazil got EPA... no ! The Greens hate this. Sensible environmentalism ..not feel good.


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