FROM WHERE I STAND: Trump’s proposed budget would slash EPA

BY POLLY MANN

According to President Trump the arms budget of this country is going to be increased. He believes that our security depends upon our being the very best armed nation in the world. Therefore, he is proposing to increase our stock of weapons, airplanes, tanks, etc. In order to do this he has to find the money from somewhere and since he’s really not convinced about the climate change the scientists predict (if we don’t plan for it), his target is the Environmental Protection Agency. Its annual budget will be cut some 31%, from $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. Following is a summary of the effects of these cuts as recently reported in The New York Times.
TAP WATER. The Environmental Protection Agency will be forced to reduce their grants to states to monitor their drinking water. Their budget of $102 million will be decreased by almost a third to $71 million.
CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ENFORCEMENT. Sharp reductions in the agency’s enforcement programs could curtail its ability to police environmental offenders and impose penalties. Recommended is a 60% cut, from a $10 million annual budget to $4 million. It also eliminates 200 jobs.
GEOGRAPHIC SYSTEMS. Funding for these sites would be eliminated: Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico, Lake Champlain, Long Island Sound, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, South Florida, the Great Lakes.
SUPERFUNDS AND BROWNFIELDS. The annual budget available for the cleanup of sites contaminated by hazardous substances and pollutants, $48 million, will be cut 45%, bringing it to $33 million.
ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS. These are found largely in pesticides, plastics, shampoos and cosmetics. The budget would eliminate a $6 million research grant, delete nine jobs and curtail the agency’s ability to review medical data and work with environmental lawyers.
CLIMATE PROTECTION. Many of the programs would be eliminated. The annual budget was $70 million. The budget foresees getting automakers themselves to pay for testing through fees for the pollutants from automobiles.
VEHICLE AND FUELS STANDARDS. The proposed budget cuts would almost totally eliminate the $48.7 million to settle claims from the diesel emissions scandal. It also foresees getting automakers themselves to pay for testing through fees.
NONPOINT SOURCE GRANTS. The $185-million nonpoint source grants help states deal with pollutants from sources that are not directly regulated. The budget would eliminate these grants.
RADIATION PREPAREDNESS. This agency tested and reported on the radiation from the Fukushima disaster that hit the coast of California. The proposed budget would defund this program and eliminate 60 jobs.

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