Official: Trump wants to slash EPA workforce, budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former head of President Donald Trump’ transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency says he expects the new administration to seek significant budget and staff cuts.

Myron Ebell left the transition team last week. Ebell says in an interview with The Associated Press that his specific proposals to the White House remain confidential.

But asked what he personally would like to see, Ebell replied that slashing the agency workforce by half would be a good start.

Ebell predicts the president may seek to cut about $1 billion from the EPA’s $8 billion annual budget. He also says Trump likely will seek significant reductions to the agency’s workforce of about 15,000 employees.

The transition staff at EPA has mandated a temporary media blackout and a freeze on contracts and grants. Trump’s administration also announced its reviewing the EPA’s website.

IPFW director of Environmental Resources Center Bruce Kingsbury worries some important information could be removed.

“I share concerns that there may be a purging of scientific data. If we need to hide facts in order to state a different position that is disingenuous,” Kingsbury said.

Scientists all across the country are anxious to see what happens next at the EPA.

“We have concerns about, first, that short-term gains will be put ahead of long-term protections,” Kingsbury said. “We have concern about honest communication and transparency.”

On a state level, Fort Wayne Representative Chris Judy crafted a bill that would nullify EPA regulations in Indiana. NewsChannel 15 reached out to Judy Thursday, but he was not available.

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