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Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez

Representing the 7th District of New York

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Statement for the Record in Support of a $10 billion funding level for the Environmental Protection Agency for FY18

Statement for the Record in Support of a $10 billion funding level for the Environmental Protection Agency for FY18
February 27, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC - Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez today submitted comments to to the House Appropriations Committee, seeking adequate funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The comments she filed are below.  

Statement of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez NY-07
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee 
Statement for the Record in Support of a $10 billion funding level for the Environmental Protection Agency for FY18

For over 40 years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has played a vital role advancing environmental research, supporting sustainable initiatives, and holding polluters accountable - all in an effort to make communities healthier and safer. As such, fully funding EPA programs will ensure it continues advancing its mission to protect human health and the environment.

In recent years, due to sequestration, government shutdowns, and budget cuts, EPA has had to take drastic measures to try and fulfill its mission.  Forcing dedicated civil servants to take unpaid leave during furloughs left the agency short-staffed to implement statutory requirements. Through grant rescissions and other reductions, EPA has been hamstrung by targeted chronic underfunding.

The vital role of the EPA necessitates Congress dismiss outright any legislation that would eliminate EPA or severely curtail its budget.  In fact, we should increase funding to pre-sequestration levels to ensure the principal source of environmental data functions at full capacity. Further, almost half of EPA’s budget is distributed through grants, most of which are to State, local and Tribal governments that depend on that funding to support essential programs such as pesticide applicator training, hazardous waste management, indoor radon education, wetland development and  water pollution control.  Finally, through the Superfund program, EPA has an essential role in managing the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.  With three Superfund sites in New York’s 7th Congressional district, it is of particular importance to my constituents that this program remains intact.  Eliminating EPA or drastically cutting its budget is ill advised due to the agency’s role in providing these unique services.  
 
Therefore, I urge the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to appropriate a minimum of 10 billion dollars to EPA to guarantee State, local and Tribal governments receive the federal funding needed to effectively implement programs supporting key environmental laws such the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.  

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