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PNS Daily News - September 20, 2017 


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Report: Hoosiers Would Suffer Under EPA Cuts

Indiana got nearly $22 million in EPA grants from 2012 to 2016 for air cleanup programs. (in.gov)
Indiana got nearly $22 million in EPA grants from 2012 to 2016 for air cleanup programs. (in.gov)
September 6, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – The quality of Indiana's air and water would diminish if President Donald Trump's proposed 30 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget were approved, according to a new report from the
Environmental Defense Fund.

It says in the past five years, Indiana has received more than $750 million in grants from the EPA to protect the state's environment.

Kristin Todd Frank lives in East Chicago, Ind., where the discovery of toxic chemicals at an old Superfund site has forced hundreds of people to flee their homes. She says here and across the country, it's minority groups, the elderly and low-wage workers who live where the air and water are the worst.

"For generations, people have been growing up in this, and some people who are more enfranchised have been able to move out,” she states. “And the layers of wrong are just so deep now, that I think we're starting to feel the pressure as a culture to address them."

Indiana received nearly $22 million in EPA grants for air cleanup from 2012 to 2016. The Indianapolis, Carmel, Muncie and Maysville areas are among the top 20 worst metro areas for year-round particle pollution.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt says many environmental regulations are too onerous for the business community.

But Bill Becker, an environmental consultant and former head of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, says any cuts to the EPA budget would reverse years of progress made in public health, quality of life and the tourism-based outdoor economy.

"It is an extraordinarily small price to pay to equip state and local officials with the necessary financial and regulatory tools to clean up the environment, when you fully understand the impacts that could occur if you don't provide these resources," he stresses.

Trump's budget also proposes to zero out funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which monitors water quality, fights runoff pollution that spurs algal blooms and cleans up toxic waste sites.

Congress is set to take up a series of 12 appropriations bills in the next few weeks.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN