President Trump's federal budget proposal includes a 31 percent cut to the U.S. EPA.
The Chicago Sun-Times has reported the cuts would include eliminating the Region 5 office that oversees Ohio and five other states. An EPA spokesperson calls that report a rumor. Environmental advocates and the Great Lakes Commission's executive director, Tim Eder, hopes that is true.
The budget plan also calls for the elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which helps fund multiple clean water and rehabilitation projects. Workers in the Ohio EPA Region 5 office are also criticizing the budget proposal. They met on Tuesday with public health leaders, elected officials, conservationists and others to outline the negative impacts. Nicole Cantello is a spokesperson for the union representing those workers. Like Eder, she says says programs and jobs that protect public health and safety could be eliminated.
The budget proposal includes cuts to several federal agencies in order to offset a 54 billion dollar proposed increase in military spending. The U.S. spends more on its military than the next seven largest countries combined.