News Release

Budget “Decimates” Water Protections

WENONAH HAUTER, via Darcey Rakestraw
Executive director of Food and Water Watch, Hauter said today: “The latest agreement between Congressional leaders and President Obama decimates water protections. The ability of the Environmental Protection Agency to help municipalities deliver clean water to U.S. citizens has been seriously threatened with cuts to the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRFs [State Revolving Funds], the mechanism by which the federal government dispenses funds for the upkeep of our tap water and sewerage systems.

“The budget agreement for the six month fiscal year 2011 Continuing Resolution announced yesterday includes a $997 million cut to the SRFs as compared to FY2010, and a $797 million cut as compared to the President’s FY2011 request.

“The cuts to the SRFs account for about 2.6 percent of all cuts agreed to in the CR, but in FY2010 they accounted for only about 0.1 percent of the budget. If Congressional leaders were looking for budget savings, they should have looked elsewhere. If they were aiming to gut the EPA, they moved a step closer to accomplishing their goal today.

“The cuts to food safety, while not as dire, will make it hard for the Food and Drug Administration to implement recently-passed food safety legislation, with $11 million cut from the FY2011 budget request for the FDA. And $10 million has been cut from the U.S. Department of Agriculture meat and poultry inspection budget, hopefully falling short of the need to furlough inspectors, but putting programs like catfish inspection in jeopardy.”

Background: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “CBO Report: Ryan Plan Specifies Spending Path That Would Nearly End Most of Government Other Than Social Security, Health Care, and Defense by 2050

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167