Washington March 16, 2017 – President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to clean drinking water and river restoration efforts would cause serious harm to the nation’s health, economy, and quality of life, American Rivers said today.
The President’s budget proposal includes deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, proposing to cut the agency by almost one third by slashing funding for vital environmental initiatives including EPA’s enforcement and compliance program for bedrock environmental laws.
The budget virtually eliminates funding for regional restoration efforts, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Chesapeake Bay Program, each of which provide resources to states and communities trying to restore and protect the rivers that flow into these iconic waterways.
The budget also slashes funds for all National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education. The programs support river restoration, scientific research, and fisheries recovery that are essential to communities who care about their rivers.
The Trump Budget also virtually eliminates the popular Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which allows the Interior Department and the Forest Service to expand access to public lands.
Incredibly, the Trump Budget eliminates the Pre-Disaster Mitigation program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency which helps communities prepare for disasters.
Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers, made the following statement:
“This budget is a reckless proposal that threatens the health of American families and puts businesses and communities that rely on clean water and healthy rivers at risk.”
“Healthy rivers fuel our economy, enrich our communities and provide our drinking water. We need to take care of the rivers that take care of us. Americans must call their Members of Congress and insist they reject the Trump Budget.”
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“President Trump’s budget is a blueprint for dried up streams and rivers choked with pollution. Budget cuts to the very initiatives that keep communities safe make no sense at all. Healthy rivers make for healthy people. President Trump’s budget takes us in the opposite direction.”
“These budget cuts would trigger a cascade of health and economic impacts in communities nationwide: more drinking water crises like the one in Flint, Michigan. More water-shutoffs spurred by pollution like the one in Toledo, Ohio in 2014. More river-dependent businesses closing because of dwindling fish runs and dried up rivers. More communities devastated by flooding. This is not the vision for our country that Americans want.”
“Congress has a responsibility to toss this proposal and craft a budget that ensures rivers and communities get the safeguards they need. If together we speak with one voice for our rivers, Congress will have to listen.”