President Trump's proposed 31 percent budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency will have "disastrous impacts" across New York State, NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman predicted today.

At a press conference held on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, Schneiderman outlined the negative environmental impact that slashing the EPA's budget would have on the city's Superfund sites—like Newtown Creek, the former Wolff-Alport Chemical Company in Ridgewood, and of course, the Gowanus Canal—in addition to Superfund sites across the state. Trump's proposed budget cuts would include a 43 percent reduction in Superfund site cleanup funding, which Schneiderman says will likely slow down cleanup and make it more difficult to add new polluted areas to the list.

Schneiderman also noted that the budget will no longer provide adequate funding to maintain the state's drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure, meaning New York's clean drinking water supply could be compromised across the board. According to the Attorney General's data, about 95 percent of New Yorkers drink water from the public supply.

More chillingly, the Attorney General pointed to specific cuts made to climate change programs and research, which will have an overall detrimental effect on New York State's air, water, "and overall health, safety, and welfare," according to Schneiderman, who noted how climate change contributed to the damage done by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Here's how the proposed budget cuts would affect the following programs, according to the AG's office:


  • A 45% cut in Categorical Grants to states that help develop and implement various water, air, waste, pesticides, and toxic substances programs.
  • A 50% reduction in the EPA’s Office of Research and Development.
  • The total elimination of the $427 million funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other geographic programs.
  • The total elimination of funding for the Clean Power Plan, international climate change programs, climate change research and partnership programs, and “related efforts,” totaling $100 million.
  • A 30% reduction in Superfund site cleanup funding.
  • A 30% decrease in the EPA’s enforcement and compliance budget.
  • The total elimination of funding for 50 EPA programs totaling $347 million, including Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program, created in 1992, designed to identify energy-efficient, cost-saving home appliances, lighting, and electronics for consumers.

Schneiderman has been openly critical of Trump's policies, both implemented and proposed, since 45 was elected. Last week, the AG announced New York would file a motion supporting the EPA against Trump's rollbacks of federal emissions standards. He also vowed to fight Trump's rollbacks of the Clean Water rule earlier this month. And yesterday it was announced that Schneiderman has hired Howard Master, the assistant U.S. Attorney who spearheaded public-corruption prosecutions under fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Master will now reportedly focus on Trump under the auspices of Schneiderman's office.