Great Lakes Update: Specter of Drastic Budget Cuts Looms

We’re hearing that the Trump Administration’s proposed budget drastically slashes EPA funding—including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to $10 million. See this twitter post from Rob Davis, an Oregon reporter. The leaked budget numbers likely come from the administration’s initial budget to which the EPA had until Wednesday to respond. The Trump Administration has said that it will release its final budget the week of March 13, 2017.

We are taking the budget numbers seriously. Below is an on-the-record statement that you can attribute to Chad Lord, policy director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition that reflects the leaked budget and discourse over the past few weeks in which the Trump Administration has telegraphed its strong opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“If true, the level of cuts being discussed would be devastating. Federal Great Lakes restoration investments are producing results across the region, but serious threats remain. These cuts will essentially stop restoration efforts in their tracks, in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. Thirty million people depend on the Great Lakes for their drinking water, jobs, and way of life. Absent a strong course correction by the Trump Administration, we will work with Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress to maintain funding at current levels to ensure that Great Lakes restoration efforts remain a top national priority.”

The specter of drastic cuts to Great Lakes restoration programs comes only weeks after more than 40 Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House sent a letter to President Trump urging him to invest $300 million in Great Lakes restoration programs.

 

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