The EPA said the shift for fiscal years 2014 to 2018 is not a retreat from enforcement but a more effective allocation of resources."It is bewildering why the EPA would pull cops off the beat who've been protecting our air and water from big polluters," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. "We urge the EPA to reconsider these proposed cuts."
In the draft strategic plan, the agency cites budget constraints as a factor in reshaping its approach. But Paul Cort, formerly an EPA lawyer, said the agency could have made cuts to other programs that "would have less impact on public health."Whose environment are they protecting, anyway?
"It's a preemptive surrendering by the enforcement division," said Cort, now with environmental group Earthjustice. "It's like they are saying, 'Take our money, and apply it to other parts of the agency.' It's disturbing that they would voluntarily chose to cut money that goes to efforts important to protecting the public."