Group holds rally against proposed cuts to EPA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Some of the Environmental Protection Agency's long running and best-known programs could be on the chopping block with President Donald Trump's latest budget proposal.

Missouri lawmakers, community members and environmental activists said no at a press conference Tuesday.

The proposal would cut the EPA's budget by 24 percent and reduce its staffing by 20 percent, according to CNN.

"With state having its own budget issues they don't have a lead prevention agency. They don't have people who go to homes to check on lead. If the money isn't coming from the federal government, states are going to have to choose," said Robin Martinez, a lawyer and board member of the Heartland Conservation Alliance and Kansas City Environmental Management Commission.

Critics say that states do not have the money to fill in the budget gaps on a local level.

"Children are going to be sicker, people will deal with lead and ground sites won't be cleaned up," said Rod Chapel Jr., President of Missouri NAACP. "I think it's a shame. I ask the funds be restored to the EPA." 

 

Without the resources there also would be a greater risk for lead poisoning, explained Dr. Jennifer Lowry with Children's Mercy Hospital. 

Lowry said she was there as both a mother and a pediatrician. 

"Today we know people continue to be exposed to lead from old paint, gasoline, what was in our soil. All that can be regulated by the EPA... It's nothing new. We have known lead can poison children for centuries. Cuts to the EPA will make matters worse," said Lowry. 

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