The Trump administration released its proposed budget today, calling for steep cuts in funding for U.S. EPA. The plan proposes an EPA budget of $5.7 billion, a reduction of $2.6 billion from current levels, representing a 31 percent cut in overall funding.
The proposed budget eliminates funding for the Clean Power Plan and international climate change programs, reduces funding for the Superfund program, and reduces funding for the Office of Research and Development (ORD) by 48 percent to $250 million. It eliminates more than 50 other EPA programs, including the Energy Star Program, Targeted Airshed Grants, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program, and infrastructure assistance to Alaska Native Villages and the Mexico Border. It also eliminates funding for specific regional efforts, such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay, and other geographic programs.
The budget document calls for funding for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) to be cut by $129 million below 2017 levels. It directs that EPA enforcement activities focus on programs not delegated to the states, while providing oversight to maintain consistency across State, local and tribal programs. It calls for primary responsibility for funding of local environmental efforts and programs to be returned to State and local entities.
The proposed budget cuts are expected to result in 3,200 fewer worker positions at the agency, a 21 percent reduction from the current staffing level of 15,000.
Consistent with President Trump’s message regarding expanded focus on infrastructure, the budget call for increased funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, with a budget of $2.3 billion for State Revolving Funds, representing a $4 million increase over 2017 levels, and $20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, which is equal to the current funding level.
The administration’s proposed budget will be presented to Congress, where it will be reviewed by both the House and Senate Budget Committees and the Congressional Budget Office.