Leaked documents reveal just how President Donald Trump plans to decimate the Environmental Protection Agency and cut 31 percent of its funding.
The more detailed vision for the EPA appears in an internal memo by its acting financial officer that was shared with Vox. It includesthe elimination of more funding for decade-long programs, drastically scaling back different departments within the agency, and more staff layoffs than initially proposed.
Some 50 programs are on the chopping block, including state grants for fighting environmental hazards such as lead and radon and at least 10 specific geographic programs, like the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Chesapeake Bay program. Discretionary funds worth $21 million for “state-defined high priority activities” have been stripped, according to the memo, dated March 21.
What’s more, staffing cuts to the agency are now estimated at 25 percent, up from the 20 percent in cuts proposed in the March 16 “skinny” budget. David Goldston, director of government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Fund (NRDF), says that while the memo “doesn’t change the overall picture from what we already knew,” the new details demonstrate the Trump administration’s intention “to basically eviscerate the agency. It … is part of an ideological crusade against the EPA and its mission.”