Today EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is expected to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on the Trump Administration’s proposed 2018 EPA budget, which slashes funding for the agency by 31%. Environment America urges Administrator Pruitt and the Appropriations Subcommittee to consider the devastating effects these cuts would have on our health and environment and calls on the subcommittee to reject this devastating budget and instead to fully fund EPA. Anna Aurilio, director of the DC Environment America office, issued the following statement:
“We have the tools to combat environmental degradation. It shouldn’t take Wonder Woman to save the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places we love, but if this budget passes, we might need her. The proposed EPA cuts would make it a lot harder to keep the planet—and our families—healthy. The EPA exists to protect Americans from threats to human health and the environment. Fully funding the EPA should not be an ideological battle; we all breathe the same air and drink the same water. If this budget goes forward, we would see immediate harm in and around our nation’s capitol and across the country. Programs to clean up America’s great waterways from the Puget Sound to the Chesapeake Bay would be completely eliminated. The health of the Chesapeake Bay has improved for the past three years, due, in large part, to the EPA’s work. Cutting the program now would significantly reduce the Bay’s water quality, meaning fewer oysters, larger dead zones and less outdoor recreation.
Slashing the EPA budget would also mean cuts to programs designed to eliminate pollutants from our air and lead from our drinking water. Environment America Research & Policy Center research shows the Washington DC metro area along with 71 other cities around the country experienced more than 100 unhealthy air days in 2015 alone. In the same year, according to the NRDC, 675 people in Baltimore county were served by water systems with lead levels 21 times higher than the EPA standard. Nationally, 18 million people were served by water systems with lead violations.
Wonder Woman likely isn’t coming to save us, so the Appropriations Subcommittee members need to put on their superhero capes and reject this assault on our health. Congress should enact full funding for the EPA. The American people deserve clean water and clean air.”
Environment America is the national federation of statewide citizen-based environmental advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.