Trump’s EPA cuts threaten water quality in Delaware River Basin, report says
Trump’s EPA cuts threaten water quality in Delaware River Basin, report says.
Water quality in the Delaware River Basin would be impaired if the Trump administration’s proposed deep cuts in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget become law, according to a report released on Tuesday.
The report from the environmental group PennEnvironment said the EPA has played a critical role in the Delaware River’s improved health in recent decades, but that progress would be imperiled if the agency is unable to continue its work in cleaning up pollution, enforcing environmental laws, and working with state and local agencies to maintain water quality.
Many federal grants to state governments would be reduced by around a third, and funding for research and development would be cut by almost half as part of an overall 31 percent cut to the agency’s budget.
Congressman Dwight Evans, a Philadelphia Democrat, said he is opposing the cuts because of the importance of clean water to the region.
“It would be shifting the burden on the local governments, and I don’t think that can happen,” Evans said.
EPA’s Philadelphia-based region 3 also did not respond to a request for comment on the report.
“There’s lots of additional impacts that may occur without the federal funding that in turn supports not only the EPA doing work but states doing work, and DRBC doing work,” Collier said.
Kate Schmidt, a spokeswoman for DRBC, said it receives EPA funding for a water pollution control program, and works “very closely” with staff from two EPA regions, but it’s not yet clear how the proposed cuts would affect it.
McDonnell wrote to Pruitt in March saying the potential 30 percent cut in federal funding for DEP to comply with federal environmental laws would have “an immediate and devastating effect” on Pennsylvania’s ability to protect air and water quality.