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Outside Toxic Indy Site, Environmental Groups Protest Proposed EPA Cuts

Drew Daudelin

Environmental group leaders spoke Tuesday to protest the Trump administration’s proposed cut in EPA funding. They highlighted the EPA’s role in hazardous waste removal.

The Trump administration proposes reducing EPA funding in 2018 by 31 percent – the largest proposed cut of any Cabinet departments or major agency.

Indra Frank, policy director at the Hoosier Environmental Council, spoke Tuesday in front of the Williamson industrial site in downtown Indianapolis. The building was abandoned one year ago, full of leftover toxic waste.

Frank says the state couldn’t afford to clean the site, but the EPA quickly began an emergency waste removal, and can cover the cost – an estimated $1.8 million.

“It’s just an example of how EPA dollars are beneficial to the community, and we don’t always see exactly how that’s going about,” Frank says. “There are hundreds of sites across Indiana that need cleanup.”

Frank says the proposed budget would cut emergency cleanups like this by 17 percent.

In a statement, the Trump administration says the cuts are necessary to “ease the burden of unnecessary Federal regulations that impose significant costs for workers and consumers without justifiable environmental benefits."

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