Budget targets regional water cleanup programs like Chesapeake Bay

15 February, 2018, 07:35 | Author: Laverne Higgins
  • President Trump has proposed cutting by 90 percent the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The administration's Environmental Protection Agency spending plan said the agency would "encourage state, tribal and local entities to continue to make progress" in those places. "We look forward to working with Great Lakes leaders in the U.S. House and Senate to restore funding to these important programs to ensure that Great Lakes restoration remains a top national priority". That's down from $167 million a year ago.

Trump announced the $1.2 trillion budget proposal for the next fiscal year on Monday, including in it $23 billion for border security, $21 billion for infrastructure and $17 billion to fund efforts to fight the ongoing opioid epidemic, as well as increasing military spending by 13 percent to $80 billion.

But under President Trump's proposed budget, funding would plummet to only $30 million, meaning the restoration initiative would be losing a whopping $267,963.

He also proposes chopping funds to the EPA by 2.8 billion dollars - that's about 34 percent of its current funding level - and eliminating all climate change-related programs.

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President Trump wants to turn off the spigot on the federal cleanup efforts at numerous nation's most iconic waterways, drawing a torrent of criticism from environmentalists.

He tells Great Lakes Now, "A national infrastructure plan that runs roughshod over environmental protections and ignores climate change can not be taken seriously-and threatens to throw good money after bad while failing to address urgent water needs for the region and exacerbating pollution".

Ambs says, "The Trump Administration missed a major opportunity to help communities restore their water infrastructure". The health and future of the Great Lakes, the largest collection of freshwater in the world, has never been more important and the GLRI targets long-term solutions for the Great Lakes ecosystem. "In all, it makes no sense". The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a vital tool used to boost our Great Lakes both environmentally and economically.

"If there were to be any kind of substantial cuts, I think it would be hard to improve water quality", Dodson said.

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