Trump's Budget Would Make It Harder To Clean Up Highly Polluted Sites

The EPA wants to clean up more hazardous sites but may have to go at it with fewer resources than expected.
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Trump's Budget Would Make It Harder To Clean Up Highly Polluted Sites

Administrator Scott Pruitt has a new vision for the EPA, but he might have to rethink his plans if President Trump's proposed 2018 budget gets enacted. 

Pruitt wants the EPA to focus more heavily on cleaning up incredibly polluted superfund sites. But Trump's budget — to be officially unveiled Tuesday — would cut funding for those very cleanup operations by around a third. 

Superfund sites are areas where pollution is so bad they require long-term cleanup projects. They usually contain hazardous material like lead or nuclear waste. Sites can be anything: old mines, landfills, even vacant lots.

Many superfund sites are located near low-income and minority communities. But despite the EPA's commitment to environmental justice, it already tends to lag behind on its superfund cleanup duties. 

Just because something is in the president's budget doesn't necessarily mean it'll become law, though. Congress has a history of ignoring presidential budget proposals. And there's evidence they may continue that trend with this one.