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Letter to the Editor: EPA budget cuts could have severe consequences for Ohio

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President Donald Trump has recently proposed major cuts across various federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, numerous social assistance programs, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA’s budget would be reduced to 1991 levels, and it’s staff to mid-1980s levels.

The EPA is an incredibly important agency, founded in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, as a response to extreme public demand for a cleaner environment. It handles a wide variety of environmental and public issues nationally, such as clean air and water, waste disposal, chemicals and toxins and public health. It protects not just the environment, but the American people, from harmful, dirty practices.

Within Ohio, the EPA works on air quality studies, river quality assessments and landfill improvements, among other issues. Without these services, citizens could be breathing extremely polluted air and drinking dirty, chemically poisoned water without even knowing it. Without landfill maintenance and improvements, erosion and degradation could make it possible for waste to leave the landfill area and create even more pollution.

Cuts to the EPA budget and staff will have direct, irreversible effects on the people and environment of Ohio, as well as nationwide. The budget is only a proposal, however, and Congress has the final say on the budget and the budget cuts. I urge Ohio’s representatives and senators to protect the EPA from these cuts, and from future attacks as well.

 

Lindsey Essaff
Third-year in political science

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