RAPID RESPONSE: Defend Vital Climate & Environmental Justice Programs!

The proposed federal budget includes seriously dangerous budget cuts to environmental justice and climate programs for the EPA, NOAA, and NASA. Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the proposal "shows the Trump administration doesn't hold the same American values for clean air, clean water and healthy land as the vast majority of its citizens... Our health comes before the special interests of multibillion-dollar industries." (Source: AP, 3/3/17)

Here are some highlights of the budget cuts to the EPA:

  • The Environmental Justice program budget, which has historically supplied grants to 1,400 frontline communities, would be cut 78%, from $6.7 million to 1.4 million. Mustafa Ali, the director of the program for 24 years, resigned last week, saying “My values and priorities seem to be different than our current leadership and because of that I feel that it's best if I take my talents elsewhere."

  • Funding for restoration work in Puget Sound, the country's second-largest estuary, would be cut from $28 million to $2 million.

  • Funding to combat algae blooms, invasive species and other water pollution problems in the Great Lakes, the world's largest group of freshwater lakes, would be cut from $300 million to $10 million.

  • Funding for restoration in Chesapeake Bay, the country's largest estuary, would be cut from $73 million to $5 million.

  • The EPA's work studying endocrine disruptor chemicals that can interfere with the body's reproductive and developmental systems would nearly be eliminated, dropping from $7.5 million to $445,000.

  • $9.5 million of funding for state testing of bacteria levels at beaches around the country would be 100% eliminated.

  • $8.7 million annually for children's environmental education programs would be cut to $555,000.

(Source & More Info at: OregonLive.com, 3/2/17)

NOAA budget cuts endanger climate science research and data collection, and coastal resilience programs meant to help coastal communities adapt to the increased risk of extreme weather and sea level rise. “NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose $126 million, or 26 percent, of the funds it has under the current budget.” (Source: Washington Post, 3/3/17)

COMMIT2RESPOND: Call your congresspersons in the House and Senate, and tell them:

"As a person of faith, I believe we have an obligation to protect the web of life and the human rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate. I support the important work of the EPA, NOAA, and NASA, to help us restore ecosystems, study climate change, and support communities disproportionately impacted by industrial pollution. I am against budget cuts to government environmental justice, climate research, and climate change adaptation and mitigation programs."

 

The Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice in the National Capital Region invite congregations all over the country to incorporate letter writing into their climate justice advocacy.  Volunteers with UUSJ’s Advocacy Corps are happy to deliver congregations' letters in person on Capitol Hill. Visit their website for a toolkit and more information.

 


 

The official budget proposal is expected to be submitted to the US Congress today or later this week. The original source of this budget information referenced above is an internal communications leak. The following is pulled from INSIDEEPA.COM  [Note – anyone can get access through a free trial subscription]

 

EPA Budget Said To 'Zero Out' Scores Of Programs; Cut Grants, Staff

March 01, 2017


The Trump administration's controversial plan that will require an almost 25 percent cut to the agency's budget in fiscal year 2018 reportedly includes plans to slash state grants by 30 percent, scale back the agency's workforce by 20 percent and “zero out” almost two dozen programs, including popular brownfields and diesel emissions grants, as well as funds for implementing the Clean Power Plan.

The cuts are spelled out in a note from the National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA), a group that represents state and local air regulators, to its members providing details of the “pass back” EPA received from the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) earlier this week that launched internal talks on the agency's budget.

The NACAA document noted that agencies, including EPA, have one day to appeal pass back recommendations.

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The note referred in the text is attached below: https://insideepa.com/sites/insideepa.com/files/documents/mar2017/epa2017_0420a .pdf


To: Members of NACAA


We have just learned that the .pass-back. from the Office of Management and Budget to EPA on the agency.s FY 2018 budget calls for the following:

1. Grants to states, including Section 103/105 for the air program, are recommended to be cut by 30%.

2. EPA.s budget is recommended to be cut by 25%.

3. EPA.s staff is recommended to be cut by 20% (through buy-outs, RIFs, etc.) .

4. The following programs/grants are recommended to be zeroed out:

Alaska Native Villages

Beach and Fish programs

Brownfield projects

Clean Power Plan implementation

Climate Voluntary partnership programs‹there are 14 separate ones

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act

Endocrine grants

Energy star grants

Environmental education

Environmental justice

Geographical programs for lake Champlaign, L.I. Sound, S.F. Bay and South Florida

Global Change Research

Mexico Border grants

Multi-purpose grants

Office of Public Engagement

Radon

Star Research grants

Small minority businesses

State indoor radon

Targeted air shed grants

U.S. Mexico Border

Water Sense


We understand that agencies, including EPA, have one day to appeal these recommendations.

We will continue to keep you apprised of the latest developments.


Bill


 

COMMIT2RESPOND NOW: Call your congresspersons in the House and Senate, and tell them:

"As a person of faith, I believe we have an obligation to protect the web of life and the human rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate. I support the important work of the EPA, NOAA, and NASA, to help us restore ecosystems, study climate change, and support communities disproportionately impacted by industrial pollution. I am against budget cuts to government environmental justice, climate research, and climate change adaptation and mitigation programs."

 

 


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    RAPID RESPONSE: Defend Vital Climate & Environmental Justice Programs!

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