Environmental oversight to decline sharply in NY, PA with gutting of EPA, officials say

If you're counting on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the future to police polluters, enforce regulations and pay for protection for clean air and water, brace yourselves for change.

As part of his bid to "Make America Great Again," President Donald Trump wants to shrink the federal environmental watchdog agency to a level it hasn't seen since the 1970s.

Trump is pushing to cut the agency’s budget by 31 percent while eliminating 50 programs and a quarter of the agency’s 15,400 jobs.

While not all of these cuts are expected to make it through the final budget process, state environmental officials in New York and Pennsylvania fear the EPA will emerge smaller, weaker and less effective.

EPA cuts "will have an impact on our efforts to protect public health and the environment," Basil Seggos, commissioner of the N.Y. Department of Environmental Conservation, said in a USA Today Network New York interview.

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