Cantwell, Senators: Proposed Cuts to EPA Threaten Public Health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined three dozen Senators in pushing back on proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget that would threaten public health and the environment.

“The Trump Administration has made dismantling the EPA a core mission. We urge you to oppose any legislation that advances that goal by further cutting the EPA's already decimated funding levels,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Senate leaders.

“Because of these endless attacks on both the career employees and regional programs, the EPA is badly underfunded, understaffed and struggling to perform its basic and legally required functions,” they continued. “We cannot tolerate efforts to cripple an agency that, with increased use of Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments, is operating with staffing levels not seen since the 1980s.”

As the Senators pointed out in the letter, these cuts threaten the EPA’s core missions of protecting the environment and public health. If the EPA’s funding levels continue to be slashed, fewer polluters will be held accountable, and clean air and water projects across the United States will be threatened.

In addition to Merkley, the letter was signed by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI), Al Franken (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Angus King (I-ME), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Jon Tester (D-MT).

The full text of the letter is below and here