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Michigan Democrats take issue with Trump's EPA directive

20161115_Flint_Palmero.jpg
Courtesy Nan Palmero
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Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Michigan congressional representatives fear that a new order will take away federal funding for Flint.

Some of Michigan's congressional representatives are worried about new rules from the Trump administration.

Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and Representative Dan Kildee wrote a letter to the president expressing their concerns about a directive that forbids the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from ordering any new contracts or grants.

The lawmakers fear that this directive could "jeopardize much-needed federal funding for Flint."

The letter includes some questions for the president:

Does the spending freeze on the Environmental Protection Agency prevent congressionally directed funding from being obligated to help address Flint’s damaged drinking water infrastructure? Does the spending freeze apply to resources that the Environmental Protection Agency needs to oversee and enforce the Emergency Administrative Order issued last year to ensure the City’s drinking water meets minimum federal drinking water standards? Does the spending freeze apply to funding that is needed by Environmental Protection Agency personnel or contractors that are engaged in ongoing testing of and providing technical assistance to Flint’s drinking water supply?

The funding for Flint was approved last month by a bipartisan vote.  $170 million was designated towards the city, including $100 million to replaces lead water lines and other infrastructure.

The Trump administration yesterday ordered a halt to all new business activities at the EPA, such as issuing work assignments to contractors. The order also includes a media blackout which bans press releases and blog updates by the agency.

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