EPA workers protest budget cuts in march to Boston Common

EPA workers protest budget cuts in march to Boston Common.
The scientists and program managers, joined by local supporters, worried about how their jobs and mission would be affected by the president’s proposal to cut their budget by 31 percent – more than any other federal agency.
Sandra Fancieullo, an environmental protection specialist who has worked for the agency for 28 years, never imagined she would be marching in the streets on her lunch hour, chanting, “The EPA saves lives.” “This is unprecedented,” said Fancieullo, whose job is to curb water pollution.
The president’s proposed budget would scrap her $167 million program, and it could eliminate more than 3,000 of the agency’s roughly 15,000 jobs.
“I’m desperately worried about the impact on our country.” EPA officials declined to comment on the protest but they referred to a statement by Scott Pruitt, the agency’s administrator, who said the budget aims to reduce redundancies and inefficiencies.
They would also put the EPA’s lead reduction programs in jeopardy, cut grants to states that seek to reduce harm from pesticide exposure, and curtail efforts to improve air and water quality.
They would also axe much of the Superfund cleanup program that restores polluted sites.
Calder, also president of the union that represents the agency’s employees in New England, led the protests through the city.
“We want to continue those services.” The protestors waved signs with messages such as, “There Is No Planet B” and “Stop Global Climate Change.” On Boston Common, Reverend Fred Small, the minister of climate justice at the Arlington Street Church, addressed the group, telling them he loved them and that they saved lives.
“You’re not just the Environmental Protection Agency,” she said, “you’re the Creation Protection Agency.” As she and the others marched back to their offices in Post Office Square, Abigail Swaine said she worried about the future of her program.

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