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Capitol Conversation

Kirk Siegler

It is unclear how the Trump administration’s freezing of grants and awards from the Environmental Protection Agency will impact programs in Colorado.

We talked with Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics.com and Luke Perkins from the Durango Herald about how politicians are reacting -- and working together -- in the face of potential funding losses.

Here are three highlights from our conversation:

1. On what could happen if the federal grants and awards are frozen:

Marcus: These programs are so diverse. It goes from everything to making sure our water is safe to ensuring the oil and gas industry can get the permits they need, so the impacts of these grants is just immense.

2. On what it means for the Gold King Mine clean-up in southwest Colorado:  

Perkins: There’ s just a whole lot uncertainty about not knowing what’s going to happen for us going forward. That goes from both the owner’s of businesses in the town to members of our [city council]. We were already thrown for a loop whenever the EPA came out earlier this month and said they weren’t going to be paying out any of these claims that had been put in from private entities for damages from the Gold King Mine spill.

3. On why there’s bipartisan agreement on the need for these funds:

Marcus: When it comes to things like safe drinking water, that’s not a partisan issue. These are important health, and critical health, and environmental issues. I think that Republicans would agree it’s important to review all these grants and contracts. If the administration at the federal [level] is going to be signing the checks, they want to make sure that as a new administration they know what they’re paying for.

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