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Stop the Attacks on Our Environment and Health: Save The EPA!

To be delivered to: New York and Connecticut Congressional Delegation
Smokestacks polluting air..
The President has proposed to slash the EPA budget, eliminate funding for programs to restore the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound, and cut programs to fight climate change. This would decimate EPA's ability to address a broad range of its responsibilities and put our environment, health, and economy at an unacceptable risk! I urge Congress to provide full funding for the EPA and critical programs that it administers, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Long Island Sound restoration, and efforts to fight climate change.


It wasn't that long ago that contaminated rivers caught fire, lakes were too polluted to sustain life, and air in cities was choking us with smog. This was just over 45 years ago, prior to the establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since that time, the EPA has played an indispensible role in making our water safe to drink, our air clean to breathe, and our communities safe places to live. Among many other accomplishments that have benefited New York, Connecticut, and the nation, EPA was instrumental in fighting acid rain, advancing restoration of the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound, protecting communities from hazardous waste, and removing lead from gasoline.

Federal Efforts to Turn Back the Clock on Environmental Protection

Despite the critical progress EPA has made to protect our environment and health, the federal executive budget proposes to slash the EPA budget by 31%, which would be the most significant cut to any federal agency. If adopted, this would bring the EPA's budget to its lowest level in 40 years (adjusted for inflation), and result in cutting about 20% of the agency staff. This would decimate EPA's ability to address a broad range of significant responsibilities, such as reducing air pollution; fighting climate change; cleaning up hazardous waste; reducing pesticide use; protecting drinking water; restoring lakes, streams, and estuaries; and so much more! Not only would EPA’s overall budget be slashed but specific EPA programs that directly impact NY and CT would be cut or eliminated completely:
  • Abandoning Great Lakes Restoration: The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is administered by the EPA and has invested over $150 million in 286 projects throughout NY’s Great Lakes basin since 2010. These projects helped clean up toxic hotspots, protect drinking water, restore critical habitat for fish and wildlife, and fight invasive species, all while creating jobs, increasing tourism, and supporting multi-billion dollar industries. The proposed executive budget would completely eliminate funding for the GLRI, which would not only halt progress in its tracks but also move us backward on restoration of our lakes and other waters in the basin.
  • Abandoning Long Island Sound Protection: The proposed executive budget would completely eliminate funding for Long Island Sound restoration (received $3.9 million last year) and cut the National Estuary Program (NEP), which supports key Peconic Estuary restoration efforts, by 34%. Eliminating and cutting these successful programs would undo decades of progress in restoring LIS and the Peconic Estuary.
  • Dismantling Efforts to Fight Climate Change: The proposed executive budget eliminates EPA funding for programs to research and fight climate change. This would eviscerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, protect vulnerable coastal communities, and adapt to climate change locally, including rising sea levels! NY and CT coastal communities are on the front lines of global climate change and are threatened by increased severe storm events and flooding. Eliminating EPA’s climate programs is a shortsighted and dangerous proposal that would cost us billions of dollars in increased risk to property, health, and natural resources.
Our representatives in Congress have the power to stop these ill-advised and life-threatening cuts. Will your representatives side with polluters, or will they side with the people they represent, who need clean air to breathe and clean water to drink?

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