Pallone Requests Briefing from 19 EPA Programs and Regional Offices on Budget
Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent letters to the Acting Assistant Administrators and Acting Regional Administrators of 19 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offices to request a briefing from each on President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Agency. The request comes after Pallone’s April 20 letter to Administrator Pruitt, which still remains unanswered. The letters to the 19 offices follow a leaked internal memorandum written by EPA Acting Chief Financial Officer David A. Bloom last month. The memo detailed significant proposed cuts to EPA programs and grants, which would paralyze EPA’s ability to function.
“Every day, EPA’s program and regional offices perform vital functions that, among other things, help ensure American families have clean air and safe drinking water,” Pallone wrote in the letters to EPA offices. “The Committee has serious concerns that such severe budget and personnel cuts would undermine the agency’s critically important work at the expense of human health and the environment.
“As the Committee with primary jurisdiction over EPA, it is critical that Energy and Commerce Members and staff receive accurate and timely information on the current priorities and plans of the Agency,” Pallone continued. “This briefing should include any information concerning the programs and initiatives within the jurisdiction of the Committee, including but not limited to, proposed budget and spending breakdowns, future state and regional funding, current and future employment numbers, elimination and consolidation plans, and timelines for implementing these broad changes.”
The letters were sent to the Acting Regional Administrators for each of EPA’s ten regions, and the Acting Assistant Administrators of the following program offices: Air and Radiation; Water; Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention; Land and Emergency Management; Research and Development; Administration and Resources Management; Environmental Information; Enforcement and Compliance Assurance; and International and Tribal Affairs.
Copies of the letters are available here.