Mintz Op-ed Looks at the Real Consequences of Proposed EPA Budget Cuts

Ben Somberg

March 23, 2011

CPR Member Scholar Joel Mintz has an op-ed in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel taking a look at the House's continuing resolution for the FY 2011 budget and what it would do to the EPA. Writes Mintz:

House leaders would have us believe they're cutting fat from the budget. In fact, they're taking dead aim at nerves, muscles, and vital organs. EPA's existing regulations — and their enforcement — provide vital protections against emissions of toxic air and water pollutants, contamination of public water supplies, the abuse of dangerous pesticides, exposure of school children to asbestos, releases of poisonous chemicals from abandoned hazardous waste dumps, and the destruction of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life.

If the House-proposed EPA budget cuts — or anything anywhere close to them — are enacted into law, EPA's ability to implement all of those protections (along with other important facets of its work) would be very severely restricted. The EPA might well be forced to reduce the size of its already overburdened work force, making it all the more difficult to enforce environmental laws. EPA's crucial contributions to protect vast natural resources and ecosystems — including those in the Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, and Long Island Sound will also be dramatically reduced.

The full op-ed is here.

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