by Ashley Paul
Fox News Bangor news story
STATEWIDE- “Maine’s environment is our brand. It’s one of the most important aspects of who we are,” said Pete Didisheim, advocacy director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
A brand that some say might be in danger…
“I’m concerned that it would interfere with the EPA’s ability to protect the quality of our water and of our air in the state of Maine,” said Senator Susan Collins.
“The cuts that have been proposed slash through clean air programs, clean water programs, brownfield cleanup, radon testing, beach safety cleanup, wetlands protection, it cuts across almost everything that our DEP does,” said Didisheim.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday…
“The action I’m taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow our companies and our workers to thrive, compete and succeed on a level playing field for the first time in a long time, fellas. Been a long time,” said Trump.
…that is leaving some Maine leader’s fearing the worst.
“This is a shared responsibility. We have the DEP in Maine, we have the land use regulation commission that looks out after our environment and that’s important and that’s as it should be. But it’s also a federal responsibility because pollution doesn’t respect boundaries,” said Senator Angus King.
We as Mainers definitely value the beauty in our state, but we also see the value in that beauty. Meaning that if these budget cuts go through, it could have an affect on the economy.
“In many parts of Maine, the economy is the environment, and the environment is the economy,” said Sen. Collins.
Aside from Maine’s forest products and the tourism industries, the top two industries in the state, the 31 percent decrease could also have an affect on the Brownfields program, which helps clean up old industrial sites and convert them into useful space.
“An old mill for example that we want to reuse, we got to clean up. And a lot of that money came from the EPA or comes from the EPA, so cutting that off would be the same as cutting off the economic growth in some of our Maine towns,” said Sen. King.
And while President Trump argues that his orders will help create jobs in America, others here in Maine don’t buy it, and have faith that other Americans will see it the way they do.
“I think this is going to be one of the defining battles of the administration and I believe that the public will end up winning on this,” said Didisheim.