Trump’s Dirty Water Budget: How the Fiscal Year 2019 Federal Budget will Pollute America’s Water
Trump’s proposed budget would be a disaster for our nation’s water. This isn't surprising - the Trump administration has worked to undermine common sense protections for our water and health since inauguration day. But this budget is particularly shortsighted and just plain mean.
The Trump administration is proposing to slash EPA's budget by 23 percent. This dangerous reduction would hit every part of the agency. It envisions slashing more than 3,000 career staff and leaving the dedicated civil servants and scientists who remain with fewer resources. It reduces vital EPA support to states and cities that help protect clean water. It would make it impossible for EPA to effectively carry out its mission to protect human health and the environment.
Cutting EPA’s budget this deeply would devastate its ability to enforce water pollution laws and regulations, help states clean up polluted water bodies, protect groundwater, restore beaches and coastal areas, oversee compliance with drinking water standards, and provide assistance to water systems. The Trump administration pays lip service to drinking water infrastructure touting continued funding for the State Revolving Funds and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), yet this budget severely undermines any water infrastructure investment by drastically shrinking funding for source water protection, reducing in oversight and assistance for drinking water systems, and slashing research for long term drinking water contamination challenges. Cuts to EPA grant programs would also undermine state agency funding, which gives states the resources to implement federal water safeguards.
In addition to randomly axing water specific funding, reductions in other programs will also lead to increased water pollution and poor health outcomes as a result of weakened safeguards for toxic chemicals and air pollution, cleanup of hazardous sites, elimination of the environmental justice office, slashing funding for waste management and overall lack of enforcement resources.
This is an irresponsible proposal that should be rejected out of hand by Congress. Fortunately, much like last year, even this Congress is likely to say no to budget request.
Learn more about the specific budget cuts here.