Washington Post: EPA budget cuts put states in bind

June 23, 2011 | EPA, Training, Water Quality

The June 20 Washington Post carried this article that begins:

"When congressional Republicans cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget 16 percent as part of a deal with President Obama in April to keep the government running, they hailed it as a blow to a federal bureaucracy that had overreached in its size and ambition.

But now that the agency has detailed how it is making the $1.6 billion cut for fiscal 2011, the reality is somewhat different. Because the EPA passes the vast majority of its money through to the states, it has meant that these governments — not Washington — are taking the biggest hits."

The article goes on to mention state revolving loan funds that are fed by funds from EPA's national budget. State governments turn around and loan these funds to communities in their state that need financing for their drinking water and wastewater projects, such as a construction project to build a new wastewater treatment plant and sewer system. Alongside this pool of funds that is available to communities are staff of RCAP in thousands of communities across the country who assist these communities with such construction projects or in other ways that improve the water systems of small, rural communities. These staffers, who provide their technical, managerial and financial assistance for free, are paid for in part by other funds from EPA's budget, which are also in jeopardy. This means that not only is financing to small communities in jeopardy, but so is the vital service that RCAP provides to these communities, many of which would not be able to afford this service if they were charged for it.

Read the Washington Post's full article