Photo credit: Jennifer Schmidt, Wikimedia CommonsThe Trump administration's proposed plan for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes completely defunding several programs related to climate change, public health, and pollution, according to an internal agency memo that was leaked to the media last month. An article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, runs through the numbers.
Britt Erickson, Cheryl Hogue, and Jessica Morrison of C&EN report that the administration is asking for $5.7 billion in fiscal 2018 funding for the EPA. This would be $2.6 billion less than the estimated $8.3 billion the agency could get this year if Congress extends a stopgap funding law that expires April 28. To achieve this cut, here are some examples of what the administration proposes for the chopping block: more than 4,000 jobs; the Integrated Risk Information System, which assesses the risks of toxic chemicals; research grants related to pollution prevention and lead poisoning prevention; all climate change-related projects; and regional cleanup programs including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Program.
But how many and how much of the cuts might become reality remains uncertain. Whether the changes detailed in the memo will be incorporated in the administration's official 2018 budget plan is unclear. And, ultimately, Congress would have to go along with the proposal in order for the reductions to be implemented.