Statement from Trust for Public Land on The Passage of the 2024 Interior-Environment Appropriations Funding Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House approved H.R. 4821, the Interior-Environment appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2024, which would steeply cut funding for vital conservation programs. The bill would decrease funding by over $13.4 billion—a 34.6% reduction—undercutting agencies like the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would especially be impacted with a cut of approximately 40%, returning the EPA to its lowest funding levels in more than 30 years and making it all but impossible for the Agency to meet its duty to protect human health and the environment.
The bill singles out equity programs, including a rescission of $1.353 billion from the Environmental and Climate Justice Grants program. The program, created through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), is intended to address disproportionate environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change in historically disadvantaged and low-income communities.
Katie Murtha, Vice President of Federal Relations issued the following statement:
“The environmental funding bill passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives is not only excessively harsh, but if enacted would be a major blow to the progress we’ve made, by setting us back on climate change, harming America’s public health, and placing historically disadvantaged communities at even greater risk.
Environmental and Climate Justice Grants have been game-changing for many communities. Take Madras Elementary School in Oregon, where about 59 percent of students identify as Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or multi-racial. These grants have enabled TPL’s work to transform worn fields and outdated play equipment into a vibrant green space brimming with art by local artists. We must not deny the badly needed improvements to communities such as in Madras, Oregon.
The bill would also block protections for national monuments that memorialize and honor our country’s stories and Indigenous history by denying the establishment of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Ancestral Footprints Grand Canyon National Monument and preventing Grand Staircase-Escalante to be deemed a National Monument.
This is the most damaging environmental funding bill we have seen in decades. We are hopeful the Senate and the President will deem this harmful proposal dead on arrival and get to work on a bill that protects human health and the environment.”
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org