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"Supporters of U.S. EPA cleanup programs for the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes slammed the Trump administration's proposal to reduce funding by 90 percent. The fiscal 2019 budget request from the administration would provide $7.3 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program and $30 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, roughly 10 percent of the $73 million and $300 million, respectively, they historically have received. The proposal outraged Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who noted last year's proposal from the Trump administration to eliminate the regional cleanup programs failed in Congress. "If there's one thing we've learned, we can't take it for granted that others understand how important our water is," she said in a statement. "This is outrageous. People across Michigan spoke out and took action last year to stop these cuts and I know they'll do so again." In a more detailed budget document released yesterday afternoon, EPA explained its proposed cuts would keep funding in place for water quality monitoring in the bay and Great Lakes, while reducing funding to states and localities for actual pollution reduction and cleanup efforts. In the Great Lakes, EPA said its plan would return "responsibility for local environmental efforts to state and local entities." While the House and Senate have not yet agreed on spending for fiscal 2018, they will not be eliminating those programs, according to bills that have been advancing since last year. Both House and Senate spending measures would maintain funding for the Great Lakes initiative at $300 million, while a Senate proposal has funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program at $73 million and a House bill would provide $60 million."

Posted February 13th, 2018
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