Mentions of local commitments and partnerships have been scaled back. The EPA could also be heading toward a pull back from supporting U.S. communities, including some of the poorest in the country. The updated partners page has removed mentions of the Tribal Environmental General Assistance Program.
That program provided $65.5 million to tribes across the U.S. in 2016 to help increase their ability to prepare for and adapt to climate and other environmental changes. The program requested $96.4 million in the 2017 budget to expand its scope of work.
While the program still has a standalone web page as well as pages on regional EPA office websites, its disappearance from the partnerships page raises some warning flags about the future of the program.
"I am very concerned about tribal rights under the new administration, and would keenly watch information regarding federal-tribal partnerships," Gehrke said.
The new web page also includes language that "some" state, local and tribal activities are supported by the EPA, further opening the door to cut back funding and partnership activities.