Wednesday, March 01, 2017

White House eyes plan to cut EPA staff by one-fifth, eliminating key programs

The Office of Management and Budget has suggested deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget that would reduce its staff by one-fifth in the first year and eliminate dozens of programs, according to details of a document reviewed by The Washington Post. Acknowledging that the steep cuts “will create many challenges,” the document adds, “it also can serve as catalyst for how the agency functions in the next 10 or 20 years or beyond. By looking ahead and focusing on clean water, clean air and other core responsibilities, rather than activities that are not required by law, EPA will be able to effectively achieve its mission.” The plan to slash EPA’s staff from its current level of 15,000 to 12,000, which could be accomplished in part through a buyout offer as well as layoffs, is one of several changes for which the new administration has asked agency staff for comment by close of business Wednesday. Multiple individuals briefed on the plan confirmed the request by OMB, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The proposal also dictates cutting the agency’s grants to states, including its air and water programs, by 30 percent, and eliminating 38 separate programs in their entirety. Programs designated for zero funding include grants to clean up brownfields, or abandoned industrial sites; a national electronic manifest system for hazardous waste; environmental justice programs; climate-change initiatives; and funding for native Alaskan villages. The agency’s Office of Research and Development could face a cut of up to 42 percent, according to an individual apprised of the administration’s plans. The document eliminates funding altogether for the office’s “contribution to the U.S. Global Change Research Program,” a climate initiative that then-President George H.W. Bush launched in 1989...more

The article then has this: 

S. William Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), said in an email that the proposed cuts would devastate critical federal financial support for communities across the country.“These cuts, if enacted by Congress, will rip the heart and soul out of the national air pollution control program..."

That should be interesting to watch because I've never seen a federal regulatory program that had either a heart or a soul.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey EPA: Because %#&* #@*, that's why........soapweed