A leaked budget memo gives a detailed list of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs the White House will ask Congress to cut or eliminate altogether.
The memo, obtained by the National Association of Clean air Agencies, lays out line-by-line where President Donald Trump will cut to fund a $54 billion in defense spending. In total, EPA’s Trump recommends cutting EPA’s budget nearly $2.6 billion.
If enacted, EPA’s budget would be reduced from about $8.2 billion to $5.7 billion — a nearly 32 percent cut.
The Trump administration unveiled a “skinny” budget in March, which laid out in broad strokes where they wanted to cut. Trump recommended cutting EPA’s budget 31 percent and reducing the agency’s workforce by 3,200 employees.
EPA has begun amassing $12 million to buyout employees who may be near retirement. The agency, like many other federal departments, has been under a hiring freeze since January.
The White House’s budget cuts funding to various state environmental programs, like Great Lakes restoration, and eliminates grants to environmentalists and universities. The budget also eliminates global warming programs set up as part of President Barack Obama’s climate agenda.
On the other hand, Trump’s final budget increases funding for chemical risk reviews and building and improving drinking water infrastructure, according to the leaked memo.
While environmentalists have decried Trump’s budget, claiming it will imperil human health and the environment. Activists want to see EPA funding increased rather than cut, often citing the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan as justification.
The Trump administration awarded Michigan a $100 million grant in March to upgrade Flint’s water system, which began leaching lead in 2015 after regulators applied the wrong chemical treatment.
READ THE LEAKED MEMO:
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney defended cutting agency budgets, saying government needs to be run more responsibly. Mulvaney’s office will soon reveal a budget that cuts entitlement spending $1.7 trillion, according to Bloomberg.
“People think government is cheaper than it is because we have allowed ourselves to borrow money for this long period of time and not have to worry about paying it back,” Mulvaney said during a conservative Federalist Society event Thursday.