Trump Wants to Slash EPA Budget By 25 Percent

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House / AP

President Donald Trump is seeking a 25 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency as part of his budget blueprint he is sending to Congress.

Reuters reported Friday on the 23-page proposal that includes reducing the EPA’s budget by $2 billion and cutting the number of employees by 20 percent, to make room for defense spending increases.

Under the proposal, which was sent to the EPA this week, grants to states for lead cleanup would be cut 30 percent to $9.8 million, according to the source, who read the document to Reuters.

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Grants to help Native American tribes combat pollution would be cut 30 percent to $45.8 million. An EPA climate protection program on cutting emissions of greenhouse gases like methane that contribute to global warming would be cut 70 percent to $29 million.

The proposal would cut funding for the brownfields industrial site cleanup program by 42 percent to $14.7 million. It would also reduce funding for enforcing pollution laws by 11 percent to $153 million.

President Trump’s plan, which needs congressional approval, would leave the agency with 12,400 employees and reduce the budget from $8.1 billion to $6.1 billion for fiscal year 2018. The proposal would also cut 38 EPA programs.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the budget discussions are ongoing with Congress and the administration and said he is committed to certain EPA programs designed to safeguard the environment.

"I want you to know that with the White House and also with Congress, I am communicating a message that the brownfields program, the Superfund program and the water infrastructure grants and state revolving funds are essential to protect," he said.