The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) opposes the recently introduced H.R. 861, which would terminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Society has sent a letter to Representative Matt Gaetz (Florida), the author of the bill, urging him to withdraw consideration of the proposed legislation.
“EPA’s role, protecting human health and the environment, intersects with ASLA’s work in leading the design and stewardship of land and communities,” says ASLA vice president and CEO Nancy C. Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “Public health and safety depend on joining together to protect our nation from pollution and the effects of climate change. We urge Representative Gaetz to withdraw the bill from consideration.”
Drinking water and wastewater systems are deteriorating and are costing municipalities and ratepayers billions of dollars in maintenance and repairs. Many communities are looking to employ less costly green infrastructure solutions to address stormwater runoff, a major contributor to water pollution and unsafe drinking water supplies. Landscape architects, working with communities nationwide, rely on the EPA’s programs and tools, including grants, research and other technical assistance to implement green infrastructure projects that address stormwater management and other water quality issues.
These EPA resources have a proven track record in the design and implementation of green infrastructure projects. If enacted, H.R. 861 would halt these programs and leave state and local jurisdictions without programming, guidance and technical assistance.
ASLA respectfully urges Representative Gaetz to withdraw consideration of the bill and to work with congressional colleagues to improve the EPA’s programs and resources for the benefit of current and future generations.