The Trump administration froze grants and contracts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This action has the potential to harm us here in West Virginia as jobs are lost, remediation projects are halted, and programs that ensure clean drinking water and clean air are obstructed.
I provided comments on this action on WDTV Channel 5 last night.
EPA grants are used to clean up old, contaminated industrial sites so that they can be developed, creating jobs and turning blighted land into a resource. We've had great success with these Brownfields projects in Mon County and throughout West Virginia. They create jobs for contractors that perform the testing and remediation, jobs for architects and engineers that design new buildings, and jobs for the people employed in the businesses that move onto the remediated sites. But with the freeze on grants and contracts, Brownfields projects will stop.
EPA provides grants to state agencies that work every day to keep our rivers, drinking water, and air clean. We can't afford to slide backwards in these protections, particularly as West Virginia struggles with attracting new corporate investments to create jobs and tax revenues. We only need to think of Pittsburgh in the 1940s, or Beijing today, for reminders of how far we've come, and how important it is, to maintain clean water and clean air.