Long Island Rallies in Melville to Save the Environmental Protection Agency


With Trump Announcing Big Cuts, Advocates Press Senator Schumer to Take Bold Action.

Melville, NY – April 25, 2017 – Dozens of community members and environmental activists rallied outside Senator Chuck Schumer’sMelville office on Tuesday, calling on him to lead the Senate Democrats in resisting the White House plan to slash the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Donald Trump proposes to cut the EPA’s budget by 31 percent, which the groups said would have serious effects on Long Island. Activists and residents at the rally said that such radical cuts would impact to Long Island communities, including the elimination of programs to combat climate change, clean up hazardous waste, and protect water quality.
“We are sending a clear message to Donald Trump: Long Islanders reject his budget and his vision for the country,” said Eric Weltman, senior organizer at Food & Water Watch. “This rally puts Senator Schumer on notice too; we expect him to resist any cuts to the EPA’s budget.”
“Such drastic cuts to the EPA will greatly endanger, not protect, American citizens,” said Lisa Oldendorp of Move Forward Long Island. “These cuts will result in increased pollution to our environment, drastically increasing our health risks. Congress and the President need to increase, not decrease, environmental protections.”
“We stand up with the EPA and institutions that protect our citizens from those who would destroy our environment for profit or convenience,” said George Povall, Director of All Our Energy. “Business and governance models that steal a clean and livable environment from citizens and future generations, and pit their welfare against the public’s, are failures, and should fall as such.”
“Few things are as important to Long Islanders as the EPA. Reducing funding for it is counter to what we need most, clean ups of the damage done in the past, and protection from future degradation,” said Jane Fasullo of the Sierra Club Long Island Group.
“We need our environmental protections–for our children’s safety and future, for our future generations, for all species. We need to save the EPA and strengthen it. It must not be defunded or dismantled,” said Dr. Heidi Hutner, ATLI Environmental Committee. “We demand that our New York representatives fight for the rights of Mother Earth. She gives us all life and we must respect her and give back. We have abused her for too long.”
“Now is the time to step up the fight for the future we want for our grandchildren. Some day they will wonder what we did at this crucial moment in history to halt the existential threat of climate change and to demand that access to clean air and clean water is a fundamental right,” said Halle Brenner-Perles of Show Up Long Island. “We need to be able to tell them that we joined with others from around the country and the world to exclaim that the earth needs our protection. We’ll tell them that we fought for a sustainable and just future for them and those to follow.”
“Americans deserve to know that we are safe when drinking water in our homes or playing with our families at the beach, and these budget cuts will not allow the EPA to meet its mission of protecting our health or a clean environment,” said Mara Dias, Water Quality Manager, Surfrider Foundation. “We are calling on Senator Schumer and all members of Congress to reject the crippling budget cuts that are being proposed by the Trump administration.”
“Now more than ever, we are called upon to be shomrei adama – safekeepers of the Earth. Time is running out for humanity to honor its covenantal obligation to preserve and protect our planet as a beautiful, sustainable home for all its inhabitants,” said Cantor Eric Schulmiller of the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore.
The noon rally was sponsored by Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club Long Island Group, Move Forward Long Island, Long Island Progressive Coalition, Long Island Clean Air Water & Soil, All Our Energy, Show Up Long Island, South Shore Audubon Society, North Shore Audubon Society, Green Party of Nassau County, Reach Out America, New York Communities for Change, Slow Food North Shore, iEat Green, Long Island Activists, Peconic Baykeeper, Surfrider Foundation.