E Stands for the End of EPA?

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Tiffany Chen, Reporter

Many people are concerned about the effect of Donald Trump being elected as president on their family, private lives, and businesses. However, one huge impact will be Trump dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Created in 1970 by president Richard Nixon, the EPA may no longer be able to do the things it used to do, due to its budget cuts by Trump. Although no action has taken place as of now, many are concerned and questioning whether it will be a temporary or permanent changes.

From a recent update according to several sources including National Geographic, it is possible that Trump is going to cut the EPA budget by 24-31%. Based on CNN, Trump also plans to get rid of about 20% of EPA employees, which goes against his promise of creating more jobs. This will cause a significant change as to what the EPA can or cannot do. Taken directly from the EPA, there are five major goals that the agency is planning to accomplish. The first goal is to address climate change and improve air quality, which will cost approximately $1.1 million. The second goal is to maintain safe quality drinking water costing around $3.7 million-almost half of the EPA budget of $8.267 million. Next, the EPA also plan on cleaning up communities which will cost about $1.9 million. Ensuring the safety of chemicals and preventing pollution will cost approximately $680 million, and another $800 million to protect human health and environment for the EPA. In 2016, the EPA used 52% of its budget on bringing clean and safe water, 23% on land preservation and restoration, 12% on clean air, 7% on ecosystems, and 6% on compliance. According to National Geographic, the EPA uses about 90% of its budget in effort to make environmental improvements and all of these goals will eventually become useless with such a huge cut in thei budget.

Greenhouse gases and the world’s current water quality are incredibly important to regulate and control. As a result of Trump’s budget cut, it would take a huge toll on the environment. In addition to the budget cut on EPA, several of its programs are also being affected. According to CNN news, the Environmental Justice Program, Global Change Research, Clean Power Plan, and several other programs will also face similar consequences due to Trump. The belief that “climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese” is really taking a toll, and creating more unwanted changes. According to Portland Press Herald, critics like U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree claim that EPA cuts will cause damage to states like Maine “…by reducing funds for towns and cities to upgrade wastewater treatment plants and drinking water supplies…” Based on Trump, he will use money from the cut on military spending, which of course will still matter once New York is flooded due to melting ice glaciers, or when residents are at risk of cancer and other illnesses due to polluted air.

Sure, the POTUS may claim that climate change is not real, so the EPA is not needed, but many parts of the world have already started facing serious issues, such as seeing more of the marine life dying out, or unsanitary drinking water, so on and so forth. Not much can be done to change Trump’s orders, but every single one of us can help the environment. Everyone can save energy, produce less wastes, and reduce pollution by growing plants in their backyard and taking public transportation rather than driving a car. A lot can be done as a community, there is a saying that goes, “small change can make a big difference,” and every single one of us can make a difference starting now.