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Posted: 2017-03-16 22:15:00

Investigators that enforce federal environmental laws would see their funding cut by nearly a quarter under a Trump administration proposal, boosting the likelihood that people, wildlife and the climate will be harmed by corporate pollution.

A federal budget proposal released Thursday would reduce funding for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance by $129 million to $419 million a year. The office employs more than 800, suggesting the cut could see 200 positions shed.

The EPA enforces federal environmental laws.
Credit: Antti T. Nissinen/Flickr

“The cuts are so deep it’s hard to imagine we won’t see real effects in air and water quality,” said Ann Carlson, an environmental law professor at UCLA law. “Individual polluters are going to be able to get away with violating the law much more easily.”

Congress is responsible for setting the nation’s budget, and Trump’s proposal, which would cut more than $50 billion in agency and program spending to fund a bigger military, was a plea to both Republican-controlled chambers to join him in slashing federal

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