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Unconscionable EPA cuts deserve backlash

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The present administration in Washington D.C. is proposing a budget where significant funding cuts will take place for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This federal agency helps to protect the environment throughout our country. One of its most important functions is to set standards for clean air and water that need to be enforced to ensure compliance to those standards.

It is estimated that between 25 and 31 percent of the EPA budget will be slashed by 2018. That includes the elimination of 3,000 agency jobs.

Different programs will be eliminated entirely if the current proposal is approved. Those programs include the elimination of state grants for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, beach water quality testing, and radon detection programs. Climate protection programs will be slashed by 69 perecent, and brownfields programs will also be cut significantly.

The list goes on and on.

Over the past decades, we have made great strides in environmental protection. There is still a lot of work to be done. Now is not the time to disable or disassemble programs and agencies that protect our lives.

We must also think of future generations and the need to present our children and grandchildren with a world that is not toxic and dangerous. The changes in our climate are happening for reasons that need to be addressed now so that those who are alive in the years ahead will have a planet that is healthy and productive.

If you have an opinion on this issue, I would urge you to contact your elected officials to voice your concerns. That includes President Trump, Vice President Pence, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as your representative in Congress. Also, you can contact EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

At this time, there is great debate over issues like health care, tax reform and immigration matters. All are important topics. However, everything starts with a healthy environment. Without it, we are lost.

I am very proud to be a member of Queens Community Board 11, which, at its April meeting, overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing the cuts to the EPA and urged concerned residents to take positive action to protect our environment by contacting the above mentioned officials to express their opinions.

Henry Euler

Bayside

Posted 12:00 am, April 27, 2017
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