News Local/State

Proposed EPA Budget Cuts 97% From Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Lake Erie

Lake Erie Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

The Trump Administration could be proposing a 97 percent cut in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding when it unveils the federal budget later this month.  The initiative is one of many Environmental Protection Agency programs in jeopardy.

According to a leaked list provided by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, the proposed funding for the Great Lakes restoration program would drop from $300 million a year to $10 million.  That money supports thousands of projects dedicated to cleaning up the Great Lakes.

The list also includes cuts for other EPA programs dedicated to environmental education, marine pollution and climate protection.

These numbers have not been confirmed by the White House.

Rep. Dave Joyce, a Republican from Ohio, was instrumental in passing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative renewal in December. He says he will fight to restore funding, as he did when President Obama proposed a $50 million dollar cut during his administration.

“We’re not going to let that happen, we’re going to continue to oppose cuts to the GLRI and we’re going to mobilize our voting forces to let them know that this isn’t going to stand,” said Joyce.

The list also includes eliminates funds for several state grant programs, including money for beach water quality testing.

Ohio EPA director Craig Butler says he and representatives from other states spoke with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget Friday morning, requesting a chance to explain what cutting those services would mean.