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Wed May 24, 2017, 07:48 AM

Pruitt "Cares" About Superfund Cleanups; Pres. Shitstain's Budget Destroys Any Chance They'll Happen

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has pledged repeatedly in recent months to prioritize clean-up of hazardous waste sites, yet the Trump administration is expected to propose dramatic budget cuts to the program responsible for those efforts.

Since getting sworn in as EPA administrator in February, Pruitt has vowed on multiple occasions to make the federal government’s hazardous site clean-up across the nation, known as the Superfund program, one of his top priorities. “Some of the most important work that we do as an agency, or should be doing… is with respect to the Superfund responsibilities,” Pruitt said in a radio interview two weeks ago.

Pruitt has contended that the Superfund program has languished over the years and has lacked the leadership to get the 1,300-plus sites cleaned up. “It’s time for leadership in East Chicago,” Pruitt said in the interview, referring to a Superfund site in a low-income neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana. In March, Pruitt told a gathering of the U.S. Conference of Mayors that Superfund “is an area that is absolutely essential” and “a priority.”

President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget plan for the EPA, however, calls for cutting the Superfund cleanup program by approximately 25 percent, according to a copy of the budget obtained by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. “On the one hand, Administrator Pruitt has been saying that he sees clean-up of Superfund sites and brownfield sites as a top priority and a return to the core mission of the EPA, as he sees it. At the same time, we are seeing these very damaging cuts, which, make no mistake, will hinder and slow down clean-up of these hazardous waste sites,” Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told ThinkProgress.



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