We need the Environmental Protection Agency — especially now.
Even on the best days, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is vital to clean air and water for our communities and to the wildlife and wild places that make America so special. And this past month’s hurricanes have shown just how essential the agency is to reduce our communities’ toxic exposure in the wake of storms, flooding, and other natural disasters.
Unfortunately, the EPA is facing devastating budget and staff cuts that would compromise its mission to protect our health and environment. 1 President Trump has asked Congress to cut Superfund cleanup spending by an astounding 25 percent — and the agency’s total budget by nearly one third! 2
We can’t afford to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency
For years, the EPA has struggled to pay for cleanup efforts at polluted Superfund sites. And for more than four decades, the agency has made our air, water, and land cleaner even as Members of Congress reduced funding to address the nation’s polluted Superfund sites. 3, 4
The administration’s proposed cuts would be dangerously misguided in the best of times. They are unconscionable as Americans seek answers about the ultimate impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma on Superfund sites.
It may be years before the ultimate environmental consequences of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are known, but the toxic legacy of these mega-storms is starting to come into focus. 5, 6 Benzene in the air, sewage and gasoline in the water — these are exactly the types of environmental threats that we need the Environmental Protection Agency to address.
We need to stop proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency — and it is especially important to make our voices heard before September 30 when the federal government’s fiscal year ends.
How you can help…
Fortunately, Congress — and not the president — sets funding levels for the Environmental Protection Agency. Please send a message to your US representatives and senators and urge them to fully fund our nation’s most important environmental watchdog.
1. Brian Dabbs, “Lawmakers Gird for 2018 Fight as Budget Bill Retains EPA Funds,” Bloomberg BNA, May 2, 2017.
2.“Trump Budget Would Cut E.P.A. Science Programs and Slash Cleanups,” The New York Times, May 19, 2017.
3. “Troubled Water: EPA’s lack of funds slows Superfund site cleanup; Trump wants more cuts,” News21, September 7, 2017.
4. “We Know What The Country Looks Like Without The EPA: Filthy,” The Huffington Post, January 24, 2017.
5. Ralph K.M. Haurwitz, “Hurricane Harvey’s toll on air and water pollution slowly coming into focus,” Austin-American Statesman, September 15, 2017.
6. Steve Patterson, “Runoff from Irma floods could hold lots of pollution,” Florida Times-Union, September 16, 2017. Link: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-09-16/runoff-irma-floods-could-hold-lots-pollution