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NRCM: Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts to EPA Could Harm Maine 

President Trump has proposed major cuts to federal environmental funding.

The Natural Resources Council of Maine says that could cause widespread damage, especially in Maine.

A press conference was held in Augusta Thursday to address a new report released by the council.

They say the White House plans to cut $2.6 billion from the EPA‘s budget, cutting staff and wiping out dozens of programs.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection relies heavily on EPA funding.

David VanWie, former bureau director of the Maine DEP, says such cuts could increase air pollution and harm drinking water.

“The folks at Maine DEP, the staff there, is hard pressed to keep up with the threats to our clean water in our lakes,” said VanWie. “And a 30% cut would be a major blow to their ability to do that.”

“Essentially, all of EPA’s climate change programs will be eliminated,” said Pete Didisheim, NRCM advocacy director. “And this is a particular problem for all lawmakers across the country who need the best facts in order to achieve sound environmental policy making.”

The Trump Administration released a preliminary budget proposal last month.

To pay for a hike in defense spending, funding was cut from several departments and agencies.

The EPA, State Department and the Agriculture Department took the hardest hits.