Researchers say continuous cuts to Illinois’ EPA over the years hurt the environment

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — The agency charged with protecting the state of Illinois’ environment has been losing resources for more than a decade.

A new report by the University of Chicago Law School found 15 years of budget and staff cuts at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). That’s meant less scientific study and fewer people to enforce IEPA policies.

Researchers found the IEPA doesn’t have what it needs to keep the environment healthy, let alone the people who breathe Illinois air. They are encouraging the General Assembly to increase IEPA funding.

From 2003 to 2018, the number of people who work with the IEPA has decreased; it went from 1,265 to 639. Additionally, the number of pollutant-emitting facilities inspected from 2003-2017 decreased from 2,350 to 441.

The researchers said the first step to address these issues would be additional funding through some mix of increased environmental fees and general appropriations.

To read the full report, click here.

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