STATEMENT: Lt. Governor Newsom on Trump's EPA freeze


SACRAMENTO - California Lt. Governor issued the following statement following President Trump's freeze, implemented this morning, on the federal Environmental Protection Agency's ability to award grants and contracts:

"At his nomination hearing on 18 January, Scott Pruitt called for a partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency and state governments. President Trump's freeze on the EPA just drilled through that promise.

"In 2016, EPA provided California with $182 million for drinking water and waste water infrastructure. These funds go to small and large communities who need to build or rebuild their aging systems. This money helps prevent a future Flint from happening.

"In California alone, more than one million people lack access to water than meets Federal Government standards mainly in the Imperial, Coachella, San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.

"EPA provides funding to 109 Federally-recognized tribes in California for projects that include water sampling and hazardous waste clean-up. The freeze could have the impact of stopping contamination clean-up on and off reservations.

"And the EPA utilizes private contractors to clean the nation's most toxic sites. There are ninety-four of these 'Superfund' sites in California, twenty-three of which are in Silicon Valley, more than any other area in the country. These sites often border communities, and are overseen by the EPA. They demand around-the-clock attention during high rain events, similar to those we have just experienced and in response to which, Governor Brown just declared a state of emergency in fifty California counties.

"President Trump is putting California communities at risk."