Press Release

Date:       October 23, 2017
From:      South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce
Contact:  Frank Knapp Jr., President & CEO, 803-252-5733 (o),
               803-600-6874 (c)

Petitions to Protect the EPA Budget Presented to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Office

Washington, DC—Today the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce presented petitions with signatures representing over 270 small businesses, organizations and residents along the South Carolina I-95 corridor in support of maintaining if not increasing the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Senator Graham will play an important role in the U.S. Senate’s 2018 budget writing process.  His support for the Environmental Protection Agency budget is critical to protecting the health and economy of the I-95 corridor communities and those throughout South Carolina.

The letter accompanying the petitions can be found below.
———————————————————————————–

October 23, 2017
 
The Honorable Lindsey Graham
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 
Re: Environmental Protection Agency Budget
 
Dear Senator Graham,

The Trump Administration has proposed to slash the budget of the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) by 31 percent.  The results would be disastrous for the health of our residents and small businesses.  This is particularly true along the South Carolina I-95 corridor.  Higher levels of adults and children with asthma, more polluted drinking water and more kids poisoned by lead would result from any budget cut to the EPA.  A more complete overview of the impact on South Carolina is enclosed.
Recently the EPA has indicated that it might take two actions directly related to its budget that will negatively impact the enforcement of our nation’s environmental laws and relegate our state’s Superfund sites to remain as a threat to communities.
The first action would be to stop providing funds to the Justice Department for taking legal action against the hazardous waste polluters of today’s Superfund sites.  Essentially this would be telling future polluters that there is no sheriff on duty so pollute at will.
Second, both the Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office have told Congress that for the EPA to achieve its goal to speed cleanup of Superfund sites the agency needs more staffing and funding.  Without that happening the EPA is planning to prioritize Superfund sites.  It should be expected that such prioritization will mean most of the nation’s over 1300 Superfund sites including South Carolina’s 35 will never be cleaned up thus subjecting their communities to future toxic contamination.
For the last several months the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and the New Alpha Community Development Corporation have been educating small businesses, faith organizations and residents along our I-95 corridor about this very important issue.
As a statewide organization concerned about growing our economy by promoting small business development, a healthy workforce is an essential ingredient for this to happen. We all want to grow the local economies of our rural counties.  But businesses are not going to invest in areas with contaminated land, water and air that results in an unhealthy workforce.
Small businesses, organizations and residents along our I-95 corridor have been willing to sign a petition in support of maintaining and even increasing the 2018 budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.  They and all those who did not sign the petition expressed their desire for you to protect the budget of the Environmental Protecting Agency so that the Agency can protect the health of their community and economy. I am presenting these petitions to your office today.
The Small Business Chamber asks for your support in maintaining and even increasing the Environmental Protection Agency budget.

Please let me know if I can provide any assistance on this issue.

Sincerely,

Frank Knapp Jr.
President & CEO

 

 

 

Scott Graber, legislative council, and Kathleen Stoughton, counsel, to Senator Lindsey Graham.