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Irreplaceable: Why States Can’t Make Up for Inadequate Federal Enforcement of Environmental Laws

The Trump Administration’s 2018 budget proposal calls for large cuts to the enforcement budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to EPA grants that fund state enforcement efforts. But despite the Administration’s view that states should take the lead in environmental protection, states have neither the means nor the will to substitute for robust EPA enforcement of federal environmental laws, especially in the absence of federal financial support.

Our issue brief on EPA enforcement explores the financial and political constraints that state regulators already face when implementing federal environmental laws and how the Trump Administration’s budget cuts would exacerbate these problems.