Opposition to Bracing R.I. for Environmental Rollbacks

Rep. Chippendale says Trump’s proposed EPA budget cuts are only hypothetical PROVIDENCE — In preparation for potential budget and staff cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state lawmakers have passed a resolution to measure those impacts on Rhode Island, specifically at the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), which receives 30 percent of its budget from the federal government.
She noted diminished budgets for air and water pollution prevention as well as the agency’s new business-friendly permitting center.
Trump’s budget cuts 31 percent of EPA funding.
A Republican budget proposes eliminating a fifth of the federal agency’s staff.
“(DEM) doesn’t even know if that stuff is going to even happen,” Chippendale said.
As for its 2018 budget, DEM is mostly spinning in place after years of staff reductions.
Consequently, the number of violation notices issued to polluters has dropped from 141 in 2005 to 33 in 2016.
DEM is requesting two new air-quality specialists and three environmental police in its 2018 budget.
Raimondo, however, is requesting funding for one full-time employee to perform merchandising for the Outdoor Recreation Council, which is chaired by her husband.
If the federal budget is enacted, Coit expects water pollution monitoring and permitting to be most threatened.

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