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Report: EPA Cuts Could Hurt Ohio's Air Quality

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Several Ohio communities are among the top 20 most polluted for year-round particle pollution and short-term air pollution. (rklopfer/Flickr)
Several Ohio communities are among the top 20 most polluted for year-round particle pollution and short-term air pollution. (rklopfer/Flickr)
 By Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH, Contact
September 5, 2017

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

Researchers found that over the past five years, Ohio has received more than $750 million in grants from the EPA to protect the state's environment.

Laura Burns, an Ohio organizer with Moms Clean Air Force, says that money funds important programs that protect the public health, including air pollution monitoring.

"You rely on that so that you know whether or not you can send your child to soccer practice, or whether or not it's even a safe day for you to even go out and take a jog,” she states. “Monitoring that the EPA has set up in the state of Ohio really helps improve our quality of life."

According to the American Lung Association, several Ohio communities are among the top 20 most polluted for year-round particle pollution and short-term air pollution.

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

Bill Becker, an environmental consultant and former head of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, says any cuts to the EPA budget will 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 in Ohio.

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



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