According to a new study of state budget records, 30 state governments cut funding for their environmental agencies’ pollution control programs and 40 reduced environmental agency staff size.
The nonpartisan Environmental Integrity Project’s report, “The Thin Green Line: Cuts to State Pollution Control Agencies Threaten Public Health,” examined spending and staffing in state pollution control programs in 48 U.S. states excluding Alaska and Hawaii over a 10-year period.
Twenty-five states imposed cuts of at least 10 percent on their environmental agencies; 16 reduced spending by more than 20 percent, when adjusted for inflation, according the report.
The states with the most cuts to environmental agency funding are Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Delaware, New York, Arizona, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Mexico.
Twenty-one states cut their environmental workforce by at least 10 percent; nine cut their workforce by 20 percent or more.
The states with the most cuts to their environmental agency staff were Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona, Louisiana, New York, Tennessee, Michigan, Delaware, Florida and New Jersey.
Illinois cut the most environmental agency jobs between 2008 and 2018, by 38 percent, or the equivalent of 1,028 full-time positions.
Overall, states eliminated 4,400 positions at their environmental agencies.