Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trump: Cut EPA 31%, decimate climate research, eliminate Great Lakes and Chesapeake projects

President Trump's proposed budget calls for a 31 percent cut—or $2.6 billion—to the Environmental Protection Agency, the largest percentage cut to any agency and higher than the estimated 25 percent cut reported last week, Evan Lehmann and Emily Holden report for Climatewire. The budget, which does not specify how many jobs would be cut, calls for eliminating former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan "and 'reorienting' U.S. EPA on air pollution."

"The plan now goes to Congress, where lawmakers from both parties are bound to scrap many of Trump's politically painful cuts," Climatewire reports.

Under the budget, the EPA's Office of Research and Development, which does most of the agency's science work, would be cut from $488 million to $250 million, reports Climatewire. "Categorical grants to localities would fall 45 percent, from $1.1 billion to $597 million. Enforcement of environmental infractions and crimes would also see a 24 percent cut, from $548 million to $419 million."

The budget would also "eliminate funding for popular regional programs, including the $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which Congress authorized last year, and a large Chesapeake Bay cleanup project, which receives $73 million each year," reports Climatewire. "Geographic programs would see a total $427 million cut. Those proposed reductions are likely to spur fights on Capitol Hill."

"In all, the proposed budget would do away with 50 EPA programs that cost $347 million, including Energy Star, targeted air-pollution grants, endocrine-disrupter screening and infrastructure assistance to Alaska Native villages and the Mexico border," Climatewire reports.

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