ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) — The Michigan laboratory that tests vehicle emissions could be closed under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget, a congresswoman said Monday.

Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, said Trump’s proposal would slash the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent. The proposal, which hasn’t been finalized, would have to win approval in Congress.

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The National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor and its 425 employees could be a target, Dingell said. The lab runs tests to ensure vehicles sold in the U.S. meet pollution standards. It also researches fuel-efficient technologies.

“The work you do here every single day keeps our air clean to breathe and keeps our country on the cutting edge,” Dingell told about 100 people, including EPA employees, who gathered in front of the lab Monday to protest any proposed cuts.

“The top notch engineers and scientists who, by the way, believe that science should rule — let’s use the real data — oversee the world’s most successful vehicle pollution control program,” Dingell said. “They told me in there it was the gold standard. I say because platinum is now more valuable than gold — the platinum standard.

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A spokeswoman for the EPA said the agency is looking at all of its programs to identify efficiencies and streamline operations. She didn’t confirm any plans for the emissions lab.

“EPA has identified the certification of vehicles as a priority, and maintaining a robust number of full-time employees is necessary to do so,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said.


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