Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PA DEP budget: halved in a decade

Enviro groups tally the decline

PA DEP budget: halved in a decade

A five percent hit for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's budget this year is one thing.

A chopping in half over the last decade is quite another.

A group of legislators and environmental organizations have taken a look at the DEP budget and tallied the losses.

It has suffered cuts in each of the last five years. Current funding is 59 percent of what it was in 2000-2001, under Gov. Ridge, they said.

Meanwhile, with the responsibilities of monitoring natural gas drilling, the workload has only increased.

"To fail to restore DEP’s budget is to establish a deliberate policy of weakening protection for clean water and clean air in our state," said Myron Arnowitt, PA State Director for Clean Water Action, one of the groups doing the analysis.

Others participating in a press conference opposing the cuts included the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, PennEnvironment and Conservation Voters.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

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Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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