To The Editor:
The present administration in Washington, D.C., is proposing a budget where significant funding cuts will take place for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This federal agency helps to protect the environment throughout our country. One of its most important functions is to set standards for clean air and water that need to be enforced to ensure compliance to those standards. It is estimated that between 25 percent and 31 percent of the EPA budget will be slashed by 2018, which includes the elimination of 3,000 jobs in that agency.
Different programs in that agency will be eliminated entirely if the current proposal is approved. Those programs include the elimination of state grants for the diesel emissions reduction act, beach water quality testing and radon detection programs.
Climate protection programs will be slashed by 69 percent, and brownfields programs will also be cut significantly. The list goes on and on.
Over the past decades, we have made great strides in environmental protection. There is still much work to be done. Now is not the time to disable or disassemble programs and agencies that protect our lives.
We must also think of future generations and the need to present our children and grandchildren with a world that is not toxic and dangerous. The changes in our climate are happening for reasons that need to be addressed now, so that those who are alive in the years ahead will have a planet that is healthy and productive.
If you have an opinion on this issue, I would urge you to contact your elected officials to voice your concerns. That includes President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and your representative in Congress. Also, contact EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
At this time, there is great debate over issues like healthcare, tax reform and immigration matters. All are important topics. However, without a healthy environment, we are nowhere.
I am very proud to be a member of Queens Community Board 11, who at its April meeting overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing the cuts to the EPA and urged concerned residents to take positive action to protect our environment by contacting the abovementioned officials to express their opinions.