The White House is proposing to slash Environmental Protection Agency funding that pays for Great Lakes pollution cleanup by 97 percent, according to a budget document obtained by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies.
The potential cuts are part of President Donald Trump's initial 2018 budget proposal, detailed in a U.S. Office of Management and Budget "passback" to the EPA that outlines drastic cuts to an agency Trump has called a "job killer" and promised to reduce to "tidbits" as a candidate.
The proposal would virtually eliminate annual Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funding, slashing it from $300 million to $10 million among other cuts that would altogether reduce the EPA's total budget by a quarter.
The Great Lakes funding cut is the largest total dollar reduction on a list that includes major cuts to climate change programs, restoration funding for Puget Sound and Chesapeake Bay, research into chemicals that disrupt human reproductive and developmental systems, enforcement of pollution laws and funding for Brownfield cleanups.
The plan also includes a $13 million cut in compliance monitoring, which the EPA uses to ensure the safety of drinking water systems. State grants for beach water quality testing would also be eliminated.
"When you see these reductions, you'll be able to tie it back to a speech the President gave, or something the President had said previously," Mick Mulvaney, administration budget director, said at a White House press briefing Monday. "We are taking his words and turning them into policies and dollars." ........