According to multiple outlets, the Environmental Protection Agency is bracing for a budget markedly lower than anticipated.
New EPA Chief Scott Pruitt had already embraced the White House’s initial budget proposal last month, a figure that would have seen the agency’s spending drop by 25%. It now appears the EPA’s approximate $8 billion budget will continue to dwindle.
When it was first presented as a source of dead weight, Pruitt fought in favor of EPA-funded grants involved in the reclamation of industrial sites.
“In this budget discussion that’s ongoing with Congress, it’s just starting, so there are some concerns about some of these grant programs that EPA has been a part of, historically,” Pruitt said in early March. “I want you to know that with the White House and also with Congress, I am communicating a message that the brownfields program, the Superfund program, water infrastructure … are essential to protect.”
Pruitt has long maintained a stance of hesitation in regards to human-caused climate change. Now targeting climate change initiatives, the EPA is preparing for its employees in the department to leave. According to Axios, a person with knowledge of the situation said “[EPA employees] just have to deal with it, because this was coming.”
At the offset of reclaiming a Congressional majority, the GOP has maintained an approach pushing against the EPA. Since 2011, the GOP has shrunk the EPA budget by 20%, with the current White House proposal presented to the agency creating an even heavier set of budget cuts.
H/T: The Hill
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