President Trump’s new budget proposal would slash Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding by 31 percent, or $2.6 billion, leading to 3,200 fewer jobs at the agency.
Under Trump’s budget plan, EPA would have a full-time employee ceiling of 11,547, returning the agency to President Reagan’s early years for workforce numbers. It is also a substantial drop from the 15,376 employees EPA had on hand for fiscal 2016, according to the agency’s website.
In addition, an internal memo said EPA plans to draft “a comprehensive workforce reshaping plan,” noting the president’s budget has “significant reductions” for its workforce, according to E&E Daily.
Further, the document has Trump’s proposal closing several EPA programs and offices as well as consolidating some. Speculation has also run rampant that EPA will have to close a regional office or two to resize its workforce.
EPA has undergone a recent restructuring of its workforce, though not on the scale proposed by the Trump administration. Three years ago, EPA began an “early out” program for employees, looking to encourage some workers to take early retirement in order to realign the agency. In total, 456 employees took the agency’s offer.
Congress will have the final say on EPA’s budget for the next fiscal year.