Grant funding reductions at EPA delaying air and water programs in Arizona

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality expects reductions in grant funding from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, but a lack of specifics have impeded planning, Arizona Capitol Times reported.

The Trump administration announced a reduction of $2.6 billion in the EPA’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget in March, a plan that is now making its way through Congress. One of the most significant potential cuts is a shrinking of state and tribal grants. These grants historically have made up a substantial portion of the ADEQ budget, close to 10 percent last year.

In response, the ADEQ has included a proactive $1.2 million reduction to grant-funded air and water quality programs for its fiscal year 2019 proposed budget, Cap Times reported.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a public statement that the new EPA budget would support agency priorities, while respecting taxpayers

Already on the chopping block in Arizona are a variety of grant-funded air and water quality programs. Among the highest potential reductions are a $400,000 cut to the Surface Water Quality Improvement Planning program and a $190,000 cut to the Facility Emissions Control program.

Other programs that were identified include Air Improvement Planning, Groundwater Protection, Surface Water Protection and Safe Drinking Water.

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