Rebuilding the EPA

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Many of the nation’s most important public health, environmental and scientific institutions will need significant reinvestments in staff, research and technology if they are to fulfill their missions in the future. The need for such rebuilding stems from anti-science and anti-regulatory decisions of the Trump administration but also from years of bipartisan neglect. Failure to implement a rebuilding strategy will result in lives lost or impaired from pollution and disease, economic disruption from climate change and further erosion in government’s ability to provide for the public’s wellbeing.No agency is in greater need of repair than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Trump administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget will reduce EPA’s resources to historic lows of $6.6 billion (adjusted for inflation) — levels not seen since 1976 — even as Congress has mandated additional responsibilities and new environmental problems emerged.Five fundamental investments are needed to enable EPA to protect public health and the environment. Cleaning up past pollution while minimizing future environmental threats that science has already identified represent the bookend challenges for such investments. They should:ADVERTISEMENTRebuild scientific, economic and enforcement capabilities. Public health and environmental protection depend upon several pillars of information and talent: …

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