Attorney General James Leads 20 States In Urging Congress To Reject Trump Administration's Proposed “Punishing” Cuts To EPA's Budget 

Attorney General James Leads 20 States in Urging Congress to Reject Trump Administration’s Proposed “Punishing” Cuts to EPA’s Budget 

Trump Administration Would Slash EPA’s Budget By $2.8 Billion, Including a “Devastating” $1.4 Billion Cut In Assistance to States and Tribes 

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James, leading a coalition of 20 states, today called on the U.S. Congress to reject “deep and punishing” cuts that the Trump Administration has proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In its Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal to Congress, the Administration has proposed cutting EPA’s budget by $2.8 billion – 31 percent – from current levels, including cuts of $364 million to improving air quality, $1.7 billion to providing for clean and safe water, $278 million for revitalizing land and preventing contamination, and $15 million for ensuring the safety of chemicals in the marketplace.   

“The Trump Administration’s proposed budget for EPA is yet another chapter in their continuing assault on our nation’s commitment to public health and the environment,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The Administration’s budget would slash funding for basic protections for our air, land, water, and communities, while investing in efforts to dismantle vital environmental regulations, including those central to the fight against climate change. Congress must stand up for Americans’ health and the future of the environment and reject this extreme and dangerous budget.”         

In a letter sent today to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the coalition writes that the Trump Administration’s proposed budget would “cripple, if not break” the successful partnership that has existed between EPA, and states and local governments for almost a half century. Further, the coalition charges that cuts of the magnitude proposed would take “our nation back to a time when air and water pollution was widespread, contaminated sites routinely imperiled the health of communities, and unregulated toxic chemicals in food, water, and the environment were a relentless danger to the safety of Americans.” 

For over almost a half century, states and local communities have depended on EPA to be a strong and reliable partner – including through its longstanding commitment of funding to assist in implementing and enforcing our nation’s environmental and public health laws. On average, state environmental agencies receive roughly 27 percent of their annual funding from the federal government.  Despite this, the Trump Administration is proposing an over $1.4 billion – 34 percent – cut in assistance for states and tribes, including deep cuts in funding for state and local water pollution control, pesticide enforcement, and air quality management, and the complete elimination of federal funding for a number of other state environmental protection activities, including beach protection and pollution prevention.  

At the same time, the budget invests in EPA rulemakings aimed at replacing the Clean Power Plan, weakening the “Clean Cars” rule, and rolling back other regulations critical to reducing climate change pollution. 

Joining Attorney General James in the letter are the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, and the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

This matter is being handled for the New York Attorney General by Policy Advisor Peter C. Washburn and Senior Counsel for Air Pollution and Climate Change Litigation Michael J. Myers of the Environmental Protection Bureau and Real Property Bureau Chief Alison Crocker, in consultation with Environmental Protection Bureau Chief Lemuel Srolovic and under the Supervision of Chief Counsel for Federal Initiatives Matthew Colangelo.