Help Ensure the EPA Has the Funding It Needs to Protect Our Health and Safety!

Photo: Becker1999/Flickr

Right now, House and Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Committees are drafting bills that will help determine the funding levels of the EPA for fiscal year 2019. Like last year, the Trump Administration and some in Congress are working to slash the EPA budget in order to hamper the agency’s ability do its job of protecting public health and the environment.

The Trump Administration, for example, proposed slashing the overall EPA budget by more than a quarter – and proposed cutting scientific research in the agency by more than a third! If such cuts are approved asthma rates would soar, rivers might once again catch fire due to pollutants, and toxic waste sites might never see cleanup.

That’s why we're not only asking you to help protect the EPA budget and prevent any “poison pill riders”—controversial policies that legislators try to stick into appropriations bills. We're also asking that you join us in calling for an increase in funding for the critical scientific research EPA's workers make happen—because that is what the agency truly needs to keep our communities safe!

Call your senators and representative today and send message loud and clear: Any cuts and poison-pill riders to the EPA budget are unacceptable; and we should be investing more in the science and technology that help protect our air, water, and health.

You can reach elected officials by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. A call script is below to help guide you, as is additional background on the Science and Technology Account that needs additional investment. Let us know how your call went here!

Call-in Script

Hi, my name is ______, and I’m calling from [town/city].

As a constituent, I’m calling to express my strong opposition to any cuts to the EPA budget and any harmful policy riders that would make it harder for science to be used when the agency is doing its critical work.

I’m also asking my (SENATOR/ REPRESENATIVE) to give a long-overdue increase in funding to the Science and Technology Account at the EPA. The research that the Science and

Technology Account funds—helping protect our air from toxic pollutants, food from dangerous pesticides, and drinking water from harmful lead—is absolutely critical to me and my community.

Can I count on you to oppose any cuts to the EPA budget and any poison pill riders--and to support additional funding for the Science and Technology Account?

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Thank you for your time.

Additional Background on the Science and Technology Account

The EPA’s Science & Technology Account funds EPA research that addresses a wide range of environmental and health concerns. It encompasses both long-term basic and near-term applied research to provide the scientific knowledge and technologies necessary for preventing, regulating, and abating pollution, and to anticipate emerging environmental issues.

The Science and Technology Account is currently funded at $713.8 million. For FY19, President Trump proposed a budget amount of $448,965,000—a 36% cut. That cut includes, for example, a proposed a 66% cut to for air and energy research, and a 36% cut to safe and sustainable water resources research.

The core areas of Science and Technology research include:

  • Clean Air: Supports EPA efforts and activities to monitor air quality levels, estimate population exposure to air pollutants, examine the effects of air pollution on public health, track progress in improving air quality and reducing associated risks, and provide models, tools, and technical guidance to states.
  • Indoor Air: Supports research on indoor air quality, including field testing and providing information and technical support to states and localities on pollutants air contaminants, such as radon, that pose health risks.
  • Pesticides: Supports research to evaluate possible adverse effects of pesticide use and determine the risks they pose human health and ecological effects on plants, animals, and ecosystems.
  • Chemical safety: Supports research to evaluate how the use and disposal of thousands of chemicals might affect public health and the environment. This research provides the information, tools, and methods needed to make better-informed and more timely decisions about the chemicals in use in the US—including those used in our homes, schools, and workplaces and that find their way into our consumer products, household items, water, and food.
  • Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research: Provides the research and scientific analysis needed to ensure that the water in our lakes, streams, and rivers are healthy and safe enough to drink, to fish, and to enjoy for swimming and boating. The program develops analytical methods for detecting emerging contaminants, and develops sampling protocols and risk models to help states and communities protecting human health from well-known contaminants, like lead in drinking water.

The Science and Technology Account also funds the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuels Emission Laboratory, which plays a critical role in undertaking transparent analysis for the development of fuel economy and emissions standards and watchdogging the automotive industry. (For example, the Vehicle Lab verified and provided the data needed to prosecute Volkswagen for Dieselgate).

Additional Background