Pollution would get worse for Delaware River with budget cuts, new report says

Media Contacts
Heather Leibowitz

Environment New York Research and Policy Center

New York, NY – Proposed cuts to EPA clean water programs would halt progress on addressing local pollution in the Delaware River, according to a new report released today. With a deadline for Congress to approve a federal budget fast approaching, Environment New York is calling for full funding of EPA to protect the Delaware River and other New York waterways.

“With progress in cleaning up the Delaware River, New Yorkers have just enjoyed a summer of fishing and swimming,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “Cutting EPA’s clean water programs would put that progress at risk.”

Rough Waters Ahead, issued today by Environment New York Research and Policy Center, examined the impacts of the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts to EPA water programs on he Delaware River. More specifically, the report found that estimated lost funding for drinking water protection and enforcement grants in New York would be over $1.3 million. 

In addition, the report reviewed what EPA programs have meant for the Delaware River in terms of preventing pollution, enforcing the law, restoration, and research to identify emerging threats and discover practical solutions.  For example, EPA is responsible for leading or overseeing cleanup of 307 Superfund sites in the Delaware River Basin states. 

Today’s report comes as Congress has roughly one month to approve the federal budget to avoid a government shutdown.  While House appropriations bills have rejected some of the most extreme EPA budget cuts, the process begins anew in the Senate, which returns next week.

Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) can play a critical role in advocating for the resources needed to protect the Delaware River.