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[ PA’s State Budget – Will the Environment and Conservation be Dissed Again? ]

The PA Environmental Council Wednesday posted a statement on this year’s state budget deliberations and chronically inadequate funding for environmental and conservation programs–

June is budget month in Harrisburg, and that means a year’s worth of fiscal numbers and news come to a head through many different moving parts. While 2017 is a different year, we are again faced with daunting numbers and the outlook remains grim for environmental spending.

The backstory to this is more than a decade of cuts to conservation and environmental programs in Pennsylvania, drastic proposed cuts at the federal level, and a $2.8 billion state budget deficit.

On top of this, Pennsylvania’s best resource to leverage private investment in removing legacy pollution and building community projects – Growing Greener – is essentially tapped out.

Today’s problems are the cumulative result of years of decisions – and inaction – spread across multiple Governors and sessions of the General Assembly.

What is clear, however, is that the environment has been disproportionately neglected by leadership in Harrisburg, even while many of those same individuals question why the performance of our state’s resource protection and management agencies is lacking.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) funding today is lower than it was two decades ago. It has lost a quarter of its staff since 2003, and is facing a precipitous loss in federal support.

Read the full statement here.

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