(Washington D.C. – November 20, 2017) Today the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, Senator Thad Cochran, released a draft Interior and Environment Appropriations bill that would hinder the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from doing its job to protect the health and well-being of the American people. Damaging cuts in this bill would be on top of EPA’s already historically low budget which has been cut almost 25 percent since 2010.
“This budget puts polluters first. The bill the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman released today includes cuts to clean air, enforcement, science and technology programs by ten percent or more, and would hurt EPA’s ability provide clean air, clean water, and a safe climate for America’s children.
“Among the serious problems in the Senate bill is the elimination of EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. IRIS provides critical scientific analysis of chemicals to support decision-making across the federal government and in the states. The IRIS program undergirds all of EPA’s activities on chemicals, which require understanding what, if any, hazards a chemical poses at what levels of exposure.
“Any Member of Congress who supports this bill is not prioritizing the health of his or her constituents and will be held responsible for the very real impacts of these cuts in the form of more pollution, more cases of cancer, and more asthma attacks. We urge our elected representatives to maintain EPA funding at current levels, reject any harmful environmental riders, and protect staff critical to the Agency’s work of improving public health.
“As head of the EPA, Administrator Scott Pruitt has shown his contempt for environmental protection and determination to hobble the agency. Congress must hold him accountable, and ensure that EPA is not only fully funded, but willing and able to carry out its mission of protecting the American people.”
- Elizabeth Thompson, president, EDFAction.
You can learn more about what’s at stake with EPA cuts on EDF.org.