How EPA’s Priorities and Workplan Change – 2017 vs. 2018

EPA Priorities Under the
Trump Administration

Do you now how EPA really spends its budget?  Do you know how EPA staff really spend their time?

There’s been a lot of  “big picture” discussion around the Trump Administration’s proposal to drastically cut EPA’s budget.   But there is  less discussion around what those EPA budget dollars would “buy” – the programs and on-the-ground activities that the Trump Administration’s budget would slash, ignore or outright eliminate. 

Did you know that the Trump Administration has proposed to:

  • Eliminate EPA’s work on lead contamination in homes and schools?
  • Eliminate EPA funding for emission improvements on old diesel school buses?
  • Eliminate EPA funding for community groups working to restore local rivers and estuaries?
  • Slash funding and eliminate studies for programs that protect groundwater drinking water supplies?
  • Eliminate EPA’s asthma programs (while simultaneously rolling back  air quality standards for pollutants that  trigger asthma)?
  • Reduce funding  the Children’s Health Protection Program by 70%?
  • Cut funding for EPA, state and local communities to respond to environmental emergencies (like oil spills,  chemical accidents and hurricanes)?

The dollars in EPA’s proposed budget  are going to change as Congress works through the appropriations process over the next weeks/months. But the Trump Administration’s anti-public health and anti-environmental agenda will not. 

EPA’s Annual “Performance Plan” – Highlights

Each year,  when EPA’s proposes its budget, the agency includes a “Performance Plan,” detailing  exactly how those budget dollars would be spent. Compare the FY 17 priorities with the FY 18 proposal, and you see a radically different agenda.

  • EPA’s priorities will shift away from helping communities, and towards helping select industry sectors (notably oil & gas, chemical manufacturing, and mining) avoid pollution controls and safety protections.
  • This Administration will boast about investing in “infrastructure,” while slashing funds for capital investment and eliminating EPA programs that support well-managed and resilient utility systems. 
  • We’ll hear a lot about “cooperative federalism,” while – behind the scenes – Scott Pruitt will be dismantling the federal framework that enables States to protect public health and the environment.

Comparative Analysis of EPA’s Budget and Performance Plan, 2017 vs. 2018

We’ve a prepared detailed looks at how the Trump Administration’s agenda plays out in four areas. You can access these analyses  by clicking on the links below.   

Impacts to Colorado

Oil & Gas Sector



These examples are drawn from a detailed look we took at EPA’s budget, pre- and post-Trump/Pruitt.  

For an explanation of how this analysis is organized, and links to EPA’s 2017 and 2018 Budget/Performance Plans (“Congressional Budget Justifications”) go here.  

You can download the full analysis as an Excel table here. Tabs along the top of this table, and summary sheets for each area serve as a table of contents.
EPA budget priority comparison table (2017-2018) 9.011.17

A viewable/downloadable pdf version of the full analysis is below. Bookmarks built into the pdf serve as a table of contents.

EPA budget priority comparison table (2017-2018) 9.011.17




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