Delaware’s top environmental official joins group decrying Trump EPA cuts

Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin joined Environment America in criticizing budget cuts proposed by President Trump.

Standing along the Christina River at Tubman Garret Riverfront Park in Wilmington, members of Environment America discussed their report showing the impacts of proposed budget cuts on the Delaware River and Bay.

“The Trump administration has proposed deep, devastating cuts to the EPA’s budget,” said the group’s Megan DeSmedt. “Under the budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would see irreparable harm to the Delaware River Basin and undo decades of work that we’ve done to restore these iconic waterways.”

The report, Rough Waters Ahead, claims that Delaware would lose $391,800 for water pollution control grants, $164,400 in drinking water protection and enforcement grants, and $1.1 million in funds to reduce urban and agricultural pollution runoff if Trump’s cuts were fully implemented.

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DeSmedt added that even if Congress doesn’t fully implement the cuts as proposed, there could still be “a profound negative impact on the agency’s ability to deter pollution from industry, agriculture, sewage treatment plants and other sources.”

DeSmedt was joined by Secretary Garvin, who formerly served as the EPA administrator for the region covering Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Garvin said the cuts could also reduce the EPA’s ability to respond to issues that cross state lines.

“One of the key things that the Environmental Protection Agency is able to do is address those cross jurisdictional issues to make sure that we are all doing the things that are necessary to focus on our water,” Garvin said. “The important part to Delaware is making sure that we are working all together in protecting our water and making investments in our water.”

DeSmedt congratulated Delaware’s U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons for their efforts to advocate for clean water. She urged others in Congress to follow suit.

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