Appropriations subcommittee holds EPA budget hearing

June 15, 2017

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies held a hearing on June 15 to evaluate President Trump’s budget proposal for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, provided witness testimony at the hearing, answering questions about the proposed cuts to projects within the EPA for fiscal year (FY) 2018.

The President’s FY 2018 budget request cuts overall EPA funding by 31% and contains steep cuts to many EPA programs. Research and development would be cut by 46% and radon detection programs would be eliminated entirely. Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA-42) noted that although President Trump considers the EPA’s Superfund sites a priority given his infrastructure plan, the program’s budget would be cut by nearly a third. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11) was similarly alarmed by the proposed cuts to Superfund sites and pointed out that 70% of the budget for EPA cleanup programs comes from pollution fees paid by private organizations. Some argue that reducing the EPA’s funding will negatively affect the agency’s ability to collect the fees necessary to support cleanup activities.

In Chairman Calvert’s opening statement, he reminded Pruitt that citizens need healthy economic growth in tandem with a healthy environment—one does not have to come at the expense of the other, but rather, they can and should be developed together.

Source: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies