What the White House budget proposal means for the environment

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces severe funding cuts under a detailed 2018 budget proposal released by the White House last week.

The proposed budget raises defense spending, while cutting funds to several international aid and domestic programs. It decreases funding to the EPA by more than 30 percent — one of the largest requested cuts to a federal agency.

As many as one in five EPA employees would lose their employment if Congress passes the proposed budget as-is. Programs and grants eliminated in the proposal could have widespread impact on air and water pollution levels, toxic site cleanups and climate change research.

The White House budget report suggests that the states are responsible for enforcing federal environmental legislation to compensate for the reduced federal EPA workforce.

Congress has four months to deliberate on which elements of the White House budget to adopt or reject. The 2017 budget passed by the House and Senate in April largely ignored the EPA cuts proposed by the White House in the initial budget proposal released in mid-March.