By Burak Bir
ANKARA (AA) - Some 4,400 U.S. government positions in bodies responsible for protecting the environment have been cut over the last 10 years, according to the Washington-based Environmental Integrity Project.
Thirty states cut their environmental agency budgets from 2008 to 2018, while forty states reduced their staffing levels, cutting more than 30% of employees at a time when the federal government is rolling back regulations, according to The Hill news website.
"Under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rolled back a number of environmental rules, including regulations on methane, replacing an Obama-era rule regulating power plants emissions and weakening vehicle emissions standards", the website reported.
The report indicated that at that period, California was the only state to make serious investment in its environmental agency, adding 1,255 staff and increasing funding for the EPA by 75%.
"The Trump Administration has been trying to roll back EPA's authority and funding by arguing that the states will pick up the slack and keep our air and water clean," Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the project, said in a statement.