from a letter to a constituent from Senator Bob Casey (D-PA):
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 with the mission to protect human health and the environment. The EPA achieves this core goal through the development and enforcement of standards to ensure our drinking water remains safe for consumption, to reduce pollutants in our air, test the chemicals in everyday products, clean up hazardous Superfund sites and conduct critical research.
Given the critical role that the EPA plays in establishing environmental protections for children and families, I am particularly concerned about efforts from the Trump Administration to undermine the EPA. I voted against the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to be Administrator of the EPA. Given Administrator Pruitt’s record of opposing environmental protections before joining the EPA, it is of no surprise that the EPA, under his leadership, has indicated that it will delay, pause or rescind key environmental protections for ozone, methane, carbon pollution and other harmful pollutants.
In addition, on May 23, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released President Trump’s final Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget, which provided proposed figures for government spending. Congress may choose to pass the President’s budget as a resolution, but it is important to note that it is non-binding. Budget resolutions provide a framework for discretionary and non-discretionary spending, but do not actually fund the government. The President’s proposed budget cuts the EPA’s budget by 31%, with a specific focus on eliminating climate related programs. The budget also seeks to eliminate Restoration Initiatives for several regions, including the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay. It also seeks to eliminate the Energy Star program, the Office of Environmental Justice and Categorical Grants for Radon, Lead and Pollution Prevention, while reducing funding for the Hazardous Substance Superfund Account, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Brownfields programs. While I was glad to see an increase in funding for the TSCA Chemical Risk Review and Reduction Program to evaluate chemicals for health risks, the cuts to the EPA’s programs will cripple the ability of the Agency to continue its critical work.
As a result, I signed on to a letter to Senate Appropriators expressing concern with the EPA budget cuts and requesting that appropriations legislation for FY 2017 and FY 2018 ensure that the EPA can meet its core mission to protect the environment and safeguard public health. I also signed on to a letter to Administrator Pruitt opposing the budget cuts to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Further, I signed on to a letter to Senate Appropriators requesting funding for lead abatement, inspection and enforcement programs at the EPA. Lastly, I joined a letter to Senate appropriators opposing the cuts to Chesapeake Bay programs in the President’s budget and requesting robust funding for these programs.
I understand that some Pennsylvanians are concerned about efforts to reduce or eliminate the EPA, while other support such actions. I believe that we can protect our air and water while continuing to grow a robust energy economy. Please be assured that I will work to hold Administrator Pruitt accountable….