What does the proposed 25% cut to EPA’s budget mean for Alaska?

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U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski chairs the appropriations committee for EPA’s Budget; she needs to hear from us

The Trump Administration is calling for a 25% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. Staffing would be cut by 20% (from 15,000 to 12,400 nationwide – although there are presently only 35 in Alaska) and grants to states would be cut by 30%.

In addition, two dozen programs could be entirely eliminated, including several that have made a big difference in rural Alaska. The fate of the Village Safe Water program and the Alaska Clean Water and Drinking Water Loan Fund are of particular concern.  Progress on bringing potable water to rural Alaska and bringing an end to the “honey bucket” era would grind to a halt. Efforts to adjust to climate change would also be affected, as would air quality, pesticides, and environmental justice programs.

These cuts cannot be reconciled with the president’s promise to ensure clean air and water for Americans. Nor does it make economic sense: the Village Safe Water and Alaska Clean Water and Drinking Water Loan Fund not only improve water quality in rural communities; they also create jobs – which was this president’s central campaign promise.

Why dismantle programs that are already helping meet two of the president’s campaign promises – and then have to create new (untested) initiatives to keep those promises?

Disheartening as these proposed budget cuts are, Alaskans have opportunities to affect the outcome: Budget cuts must be approved by the U.S. Congress . . . and our U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski chairs the appropriations committee that oversees EPA’s budget. Senator Murkowski has publicly promised to protect Alaskans’ right to clean air and clean water.

Please contact [email protected] to learn more about how you can voice your concerns to Senator Murkowski.

 

For more information:

“Here’s what Alaska Stands to lose with major cuts to the EPA budget,” Alaska Dispatch News, March 9, 2017.

“EPA Budget Said To ‘Zero Out’ Scores Of Programs; Cut Grants, Staff,” Inside EPA, March 3, 2017.

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