Cuts to federal workforce open door for pollution

North Carolina's Research Triangle Park, near Durham, is home to several offices of the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA employees are reportedly preparing for the worst as the White House budget targets major staffing cuts, despite the many problems this invites. (© Research Triangle Foundation)

Politico is reporting President Donald Trump's administration will send a 14-page memorandum to federal agency leaders today ordering them to begin the process of making deep personnel cuts over the next year.

The Environmental Protection Agency was mentioned as a particular target of the workforce reductions when Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, was discussing next year’s budget. Mulvaney declined to go into specifics about the cuts, indicating it would be up to the EPA head, Scott Pruitt, to decide how to implement them.

"These personnel cuts would severely curtail research and protections for the clean water and clean air vital to our families and communities,” said SELC Legislative Director Nat Mund. “Thousands of local jobs throughout the Southeast safeguarding the health of our communities and families will take a direct hit, but everyone will be made more vulnerable to pollution of the water we drink and air we breathe."

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