130 Groups to NY Reps: Save the EPA from Trump's Dirty Budget

For Immediate Release: July 12, 2018
Contacts listed below.

130 Groups to NY Reps: Save the EPA From Trump’s Dirty Budget

Albany – Today, 130 groups belonging to New York’s Coalition to Save the EPA sent an urgent request to New York’s Congressional Delegation calling for a bipartisan and full-throated rejection of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The proposal calls for a 25-percent cut to EPA’s operating funds, which will compromise – and in some cases eliminate – public health protections such as clean water and air initiatives, environmental justice programs, and science-based agencies that millions of New Yorkers depend on.

Excerpt from the letter: In last year’s budget negotiations, members of Congress from both parties rejected similarly nonsensical cuts to EPA and secured stable levels of funding for essential programs. We appreciate the powerful advocacy of those members and we look forward to building on that success. EPA funding has been stagnant for far too long, and given the current climate crisis, clean air and water protections must receive increased investments.”

The letter was sent one week after EPA Chief Scott Pruitt’s resignation. His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist with deep ties to climate deniers. This particular choice to head up the EPA is a signal that the Trump Administration’s anti-environmental ideology didn’t end with Pruitt’s departure.

Peter M. Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York said, “The players may have changed, but the playbook is still the same. Our environment was under assault by Trump and his cronies yesterday, today, and will still be under assault tomorrow. Shortchanging the agency that protects New Yorkers from polluters is dangerous policy. We urge our members of Congress to listen to the chorus of opposition from those they represent and stop Trump’s dirty budget in its tracks. We deserve a fully-funded EPA capable of safeguarding our environment, our air and our water. Anything less is unacceptable.”

Eddie Bautista, executive director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance said, “Low-income communities and communities of color have been disproportionately burdened by the environmental health impacts of pollution and are at the front lines of the looming climate crisis. Cuts to the EPA budget would hit the most vulnerable communities across the United States the hardest. What we need is a robust EPA that urgently works to dismantle historic legacies of environmental injustice and addresses the impacts of climate change through strong programming and regulatory enforcement.”

Rachel Spector, director of the environmental justice program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest said, “Defunding crucial EPA programs and environmental enforcement puts the lives of New Yorkers – especially those living in low-income communities and communities of color – at risk. Even under the current Administration, EPA is helping clean up lead-contaminated sports fields and supporting safe lead paint abatement. Losing programs like this would be devastating – New York’s most vulnerable can’t afford to go without these basic protections.”

Alex Beauchamp, Northeast region director at Food & Water Watch said, “Senator Schumer and the rest of New York’s congressional delegation must lead the way in protecting funding for the EPA. Scott Pruitt may be gone, but the Trump Administration is more determined than ever to gut our nation’s most important environmental protections. Trump’s plans start with defunding the EPA, and it’s up to Senator Schumer to lead the way in resisting this reckless assault on our clean air and water.”

Jeremy Cherson, legislative advocacy manager for Riverkeeper said, "A fully funded and staffed EPA is essential for the health of the Hudson River Estuary and its tributaries. We urge Congress to maintain full support for the EPA and the critical work it does for wildlife and public health."

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Contacts:
Brian Keegan, Environmental Advocates: bkeegan@eany.org 518-462-5526 x238 
Kartik Amarnath, NYC-EJA: kartik@NYC-EJA.org 347-701-4850
Alex Beauchamp, Food & Water Watch: abeauchamp@fwwatch.org 347-774-4634
Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper: jcherson@riverkeeper.org 914-478-4501 x257
Rachel Spector, NYLPI: rspector@nylpi.org 212-244-4664