Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Pat Rizzuto
The Trump administration’s proposal to slash a quarter of the EPA’s budget will harm children’s health, several professionals who work in the pediatric health field told congressional staff and reporters April 5.
“Environmental health is all about prevention not about treatment,” Jerome Paulson, a professor emeritus of pediatrics at George Washington University’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said. “As a pediatrician, I know that there is almost nothing that I can do to treat children who have been injured by environmental health hazards. There is no pill or portion I can prescribe to repair lungs that have been damaged by air pollution.”
He said cuts to the EPA’s budget will harm the health of children and adults and make his work and that of other health professionals more difficult. Paulson also advises the Children’s Environmental Health Network, a nonprofit advocacy group.
Paulson was among the health care professionals, researchers and a federal policy analyst who spoke on Capitol Hill at a presentation on the EPA’s role in protecting children’s health, and the impact of the 25 percent cut to the agency’s budget proposed for fiscal year 2018. The Children’s Environmental Health Network and the University of California, San Francisco’s Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment organized the event.
Reaction from appropriations committees divided along party lines with Republicans remaining reticent.
“Congress will carefully consider the proposals presented by the administration as the FY18 budget process moves forward,” Stephen Worley, majority spokesman for the Senate Committee on Appropriations told Bloomberg BNA by email.
Some of the Democrats by contrast spoke out.
“Democrats stand strongly opposed to efforts to undermine or weaken EPA’s critical role in protecting public health from environmental hazards,” Matt Dennis, spokesman for the Democrats on the the House Committee on Appropriations, told Bloomberg BNA by email.
Cuts he said the Democrats intend to oppose include:
The proposed cuts are so dramatic that some people have called President Donald Trump’s budget “dead on arrival.”
Attorneys and other policy watchers also have told Bloomberg BNA the proposed budget is part of a routine “dance” between the executive branch and Congress, in which this and previous administrations have proposed cuts to EPA programs it expects Congress to reinstate.
Yet the proposed governmentwide cuts to programs that support the elderly and poor, research and other public health services are so dramatic that Congress may be hard pressed to fully fund some needed services, including some EPA programs, Linda McCauley, dean of the Emory University School of Nursing, told Bloomberg BNA.
Despite the drastic cuts to other programs, the agency’s budget and staffing for chemical risk review and reduction would increase by $14 million and 53.6 full-time employees under Trump’s budget blueprint. That increase would help the agency implement the amendments Congress made to the Toxic Substances Control Act last summer. The $14 million boost would add to the fiscal year 2016 budget of $19.7 million and 238.7 full-time employees that the agency had for TSCA.
Among other mandates, the TSCA amendments require the EPA to consider health risks to children as it evaluates chemicals.
The chemicals office, however, doesn’t work in a vacuum, McCauley told Bloomberg BNA.
Increased funding, alone, may not help the agency implement TSCA if it doesn’t also have the expertise from the children’s health, research and other offices, she said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)