A number of programs within the Environmental Protection Agency could be taking a cut in order to meet President Donald Trump’s recently proposed budget proposal.
These cuts are not going to be minuscule by any means. According to sciencemag.org, the Trump administration wants to cut spending by the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ODR) by more than 40% from roughly $510 million to $290 million.
The cuts would target the programs that fund scientific research pertaining to air and water quality, climate change, greenhouse gasses and chemical safety. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget told a representative from sciencemag.org that, “The cuts are needed to help reduce the burden that EPA regulations place on industry and state and local governments.”
Gina McCarthy, the last EPA administrator under former President Obama said, in regard to the proposed cuts, that the Trump administration is “not just going after the climate science in the agency, but going after the scientists…that do fundamental air and water and land work.”
This comes after Trump’s recent executive order focused on altering the Clean Water Rule which pertains to all discharges into water and their illegality without a permit. A number of farmers, energy companies, and land developers are against the Clean Water Rule, which was passed by the Obama administration in May of 2015, claiming that it affects their operations.
Dr. Kenneth Neuhauser, a professor at FHSU and a specialist in environmental geology had this to say about Trump’s cut on the EPA’s funding.
“We have to be careful about what we hear on the news and its intended contexts. Trump may be trying to cut the funding from the EPA; but what would that mean? If the EPA were to eventually go away, the responsibility of environmental protection would depend on individual states. Kansas’ Department of Health and Environment would have to ensure that our air and water is as clean as it can be. Environmental protection won’t go away completely.”
It is still yet to be seen whether these proposed cuts will make it into the final budget, which will be released on March 16th. TMN will keep you informed on any breaking news.
With TMN, I am Kraig Pierce.