Deep EPA cuts put public health at risk

The imperiled agency protects our air, water, and health

Since the Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1970, it has made our air and water cleaner, prevented millions of asthma attacks and hospitalizations, and avoided hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, all while America enjoyed a growing economy and expanding population.

Benefits now in jeopardy

Deep cuts to EPA proposed by the Trump administration would jeopardize Americans' health and safety by reducing the funds that would address pollution including lead, toxic sites, contaminated water, and much more.

The result will be more asthma attacks, more toxic pollution in our communities, and more lead in our drinking water.

Here's a sampling of what the agency has done – during the 2016 fiscal year alone – to protect public health, revitalize communities and hold polluters accountable for their actions.

  • 13,500Number of compliance inspections and evaluations conducted
  • 1,308Number of enforcement actions concluded under the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act
  • 62 billionPounds of hazardous waste that enforcement actions required companies to address
  • 190 millionCubic yards of contaminated soil and groundwater cleanup commitments secured, enough to fill the Empire State Building more than 138 times

Historically low funding levels

EPA accounts for just 0.22 percent, or $8 billion, of a $4 trillion federal budget. The agency's budget already has been repeatedly cut by Congress in recent years and is already, in real dollars, close to its lowest level in forty years.

EPA's work is not done

EPA has been making our country cleaner for decades but there is more work to do:

  • Up to ten million homes across America still get their drinking water through lead pipes – in Flint, Michigan and across the nation.
  • According to the American Lung Association, 125 million Americans live in counties with unhealthy air quality.

We need to be moving forward, not backward – especially when it comes to protecting children, the elderly, and others who are vulnerable to lung and heart disease.

In-depth analysis

EDF staff written blog posts provide in-depth analysis on the serious consequences of a weakened EPA