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
For the third year in a row, the Trump administration proposed deep cuts to EPA. These reductions would allow more lead, toxic chemicals, and contaminated water -- jeopardizing the health and safety of all Americans.
The result will be more asthma attacks and more toxic pollution in our communities.
The first time, Congress saw the public backlash and rejected the EPA cuts. But now the fight starts all over again for the next budget.
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 0.2 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.
Going forward, Congress should not only maintain current funding levels, but begin to rebuild EPA’s ability to protect American families, after decades of budget cuts.
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.