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Peters, Stabenow, Kildee: “President Trump, Don’t Jeopardize Flint Funding”

Lawmakers send letter to President Trump raising concerns following his announcement to freeze EPA spending

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Congressman Dan Kildee today urged President Trump not to jeopardize much-needed federal funding for Flint following his directive to halt all Environmental Protection Agency grants and agreements. The lawmakers sent a letter to the President to inquire whether his decision applies to the funding Congress passed with strong, bipartisan support to help address the City of Flint’s drinking water crisis.

“We write to request clarity on a reported freeze imposed on all new Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts, and in particular, to inquire as to whether this decision applies to the funding Congress approved with strong bipartisan support to help address the City of Flint’s drinking water crisis,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are concerned that your directive to halt all EPA grants and agreements may jeopardize much-needed federal funding, already passed by Congress, from quickly and directly reaching Flint families recovering from this crisis.”

January 24, 2017

The Honorable Donald Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to request clarity on a reported freeze imposed on all new Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts, and in particular, to inquire as to whether this decision applies to the funding Congress approved with strong bipartisan support to help address the City of Flint’s drinking water crisis. We are concerned that your directive to halt all EPA grants and agreements may jeopardize much-needed federal funding, already passed by Congress, from quickly and directly reaching Flint families recovering from this crisis.

In December 2016, the Congress approved $100 million to help fix Flint’s broken water infrastructure as part of the short-term spending bill (P.L. 114-254) and the necessary authorities to utilize this funding in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (P.L.114-322).  Throughout your campaign, which included a visit to Flint, you pledged to help the City and to take actions to prevent a similar crisis in any other community. Given these promises, and the enactment of legislation to provide funding to address Flint’s water infrastructure, we would strongly oppose any actions by your Administration that result in delaying resources to Flint.  Flint residents have not had access to safe drinking water in their homes for nearly three years and the community is counting on these and other funds to address this crisis. To that end, we would appreciate your prompt response to the following questions:

  • Does the spending freeze on the Environmental Protection Agency prevent congressionally directed funding from being obligated to help address Flint’s damaged drinking water infrastructure?
  • Does the spending freeze apply to resources that the Environmental Protection Agency needs to oversee and enforce the Emergency Administrative Order issued last year to ensure the City’s drinking water meets minimum federal drinking water standards?
  • Does the spending freeze apply to funding that is needed by Environmental Protection Agency personnel or contractors that are engaged in ongoing testing of and providing technical assistance to Flint’s drinking water supply?

Thank you for your expedited response to these inquiries.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow

U.S. Senator Gary Peters

U.S. Representative Dan Kildee

Cc:  Catherine McCabe, Acting Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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