Dingell: EPA Administrator Pruitt Commits to Keeping Ann Arbor EPA Lab Open
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, after being pressed by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) during a hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt committed to keeping the doors of the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory open in Ann Arbor. The commitment comes after the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA budget in 2018 would have forced the lab to shutter.
“The more than 400 dedicated employees at the EPA Lab in Ann Arbor do critical work for every single state on automotive emissions and fuel economy,” said Dingell. “This work is vital to public health, the environment and our future economic competitiveness, and I am pleased that Administrator Pruitt has recognized the incredible value of this lab and its employees. It is because of the good work and dedicated advocacy of men and women of the Ann Arbor EPA Lab and the American Federation of Government Employees that we are able to keep this lab open and ensure this critical work continues.”
Dingell visited the Ann Arbor EPA lab in May to speak out against proposed cuts to the facility, which conducts critical research, testing, analysis and technological studies in support of the establishment and monitoring of both fuel economy and vehicle emission standards.
At today’s hearing, Dingell also pressed Administrator Pruitt on a number of other issues important to Michigan. Pruitt agreed with Dingell that lead is one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the country. Dingell pointed out that cuts already underway at EPA undercut that priority, including staff reductions and cuts to grants that support lead risk reduction programs.
Dingell also pressed Pruitt on funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which was completely eliminated in the President’s 2018 budget proposal. Bipartisan Members of Congress from the Great Lakes states worked together to restore funding for the GLRI, which is the single most successful program for protecting the Great Lakes. Pruitt acknowledged the success of program but refused to commit to not cutting the GLRI in the future. Dingell responded, “We’ll be back if you do.”
For video of Dingell’s questions and Pruitt’s answers, please click here.