For Immediate Release
Water Quality Programs in the EPA Account for Nearly 3 Percent of Cuts to Federal Budget in New Agreement
Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
WASHINGTON - “The latest agreement between Congressional leaders and President Obama decimates water protections.”
“The ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help municipalities deliver clean water to U.S. citizens has been seriously threatened with cuts to the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs), the mechanism by which the federal government dispenses funds for the upkeep of our tap water and sewerage systems.”
“The budget agreement for the six month fiscal year (FY) 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) announced yesterday includes a $997 million cut to the SRFs as compared to FY2010, and a $797 million cut as compared to the President's FY2011 request.
“The cuts to the SRF programs account for about 2.6 percent of all cuts agreed to in the CR, but in FY2010 they accounted for only about .1 percent of the budget. If Congressional leaders were looking for budget savings, they should have looked elsewhere. If they were aiming to gut the EPA, they moved a step closer to accomplishing their goal today.”
“The cuts to food safety, while not as dire, will make it hard for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement recently-passed food safety legislation, with $11 million cut from the FY2011 budget request for the FDA. $10 million has been cut from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat and poultry inspection budget, hopefully falling short of the need to furlough inspectors, but putting programs like catfish inspection in jeopardy.”
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.