Perhaps no state in the country is more aware of water safety than Michigan. Seeing the Flint water disaster play out since 2014 has given us all a harsh lesson in not taking safe water for granted.
Yet President Trump's proposed budget takes an ax to the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the agencies most responsible for protecting our water.
Keith Fusinski, vice president of Local 704 of the American Federation of Government Employees, is a toxicologist on the front lines monitoring our drinking water. He joined Stateside today to explain how proposed budget cuts could impact that front-line work.
“One thing people don’t tend to realize is 60% of the EPA’s budget is actually flow-through," he said. "The money comes to EPA and we basically distribute it to states and local municipalities for them to use on low-interest loans to fix their infrastructure and replace it."
Therefore, Fusinski said, cutting the EPA's budget effectively cuts money that goes to the states.
"Now, what you keep hearing from the administration is we want the EPA cut so the states can take over. States don’t have the money to do this. It’s just not there," he said.
For the full conversation, including why "we're never going to reach the tipping point of giving people clean water" with current funding plans, listen above.