WASHINGTON (EPA) – The Obama administration proposed a fiscal year 2014 (FY 2014) budget on April 10 of $8.153 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This request is $296 million below the EPA’s budget for fiscal year 2012.
“EPA’s FY 2014 budget reflects our firm commitment to keeping American communities across our country healthy and clean, while also taking into consideration the difficult fiscal situation and the declining resources of state, local and tribal programs,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “Our request takes a balanced approach to funding the agency, including increased investments in more efficient technologies as well as necessary program eliminations or reductions.”
EPA’s FY 2014 request will allow EPA to continue its progress in addressing climate change; protecting the nation’s air, waters, and lands; supporting sustainable water infrastructure; and assuring the safety of chemicals. EPA will continue to lay the groundwork to transform the way it does business, ensuring the best use of human and financial resources, while continuing to achieve the agency’s mission effectively and efficiently.
Fiscal Year 2014 budget highlights include:
E-Enterprise to Assist Businesses and Improve EPA and States’ Access to Data. E-Enterprise, a $60 million initiative, will enable EPA to begin developing tools and expanding systems designed to reduce the reporting burden on regulated entities and provide EPA and state regulators with easier access to and use of environmental data. E-Enterprise seeks to replace out-dated, paper reporting with integrated e-reporting systems using technology and shared IT services, while encouraging greater transparency and compliance. Similar to online banking, the new single portal system will allow regulated businesses to register and receive tailored information based on their unique needs. This electronic system will facilitate commercial entities’ permit applications and emissions reporting as well as provide information on applicable regulations and compliance status.
EPA’s request includes essential resources for our state, local and tribal partners to build integrated data systems that will improve the quality of data collected by EPA and the states for verifying compliance with regulations, and reduce reporting burden on industry and improve services for the regulated entities and the American public. Additionally, E-Enterprise builds on efforts such as e-manifest, which is projected to reduce reporting costs for regulated businesses in the range of $77 to $126 million annually by replacing the 5.1 million paper manifests for hazardous waste shipments with a modern tracking and reporting system.
Supporting State and Tribal Partners. The FY 2014 budget includes a total of $1,135.8 million in categorical grants, an increase of $47 million over FY 2012 levels. EPA remains committed to supporting our state and tribal partners, the primary implementers of environmental programs. Funding to states and tribes in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account continues to be the largest percentage of the EPA's budget request, at nearly 40 percent in FY 2014.
Climate Change. EPA is proposing $176.5 million for the agency’s work with partners and stakeholders to provide information and tools to cut greenhouse gas emissions. These funds will support reducing emissions in the U.S. and abroad through careful, cost-effective rulemaking and voluntary programs that focus on the largest entities while also encouraging businesses and consumers to limit unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.
These funds will allow the agency to continue utilizing approaches like ENERGY STAR, the Global Methane Initiative, the GHG Reporting Rule, and state and local technical assistance and partnership programs, such as SmartWay. The ENERGY STAR program continues to yield significant results through its 20,000 partners. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, prevented emissions of an estimated 242 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2E), saving a total of $24 billion on their annual utility bills in 2012 alone. The budget also includes $20 million for research to understand the impacts of climate change on human health and vulnerable ecosystems. This research will evaluate the interactions between climate change and air quality and develop approaches to adapt to a changing climate and provide state, local and Tribal partners with tools and technologies to support their climate-change programs.
Enforcement and Compliance. EPA’s budget proposal requests $625 million to maintain the strength of core national enforcement and compliance assurance programs and for the Next Generation Compliance Initiative. In light of fiscal constraints, the need to innovate is even greater in order for the EPA to achieve gains in compliance over the long-term. Through the Next Generation Compliance initiative, the EPA is developing and implementing new methods based on advances in both monitoring and information technology that will improve efficiency, leading to better compliance and enabling our ability to focus on the most serious violations. By leveraging electronic reporting and working to reduce redundant paperwork and regulatory reporting burdens on business and our governmental partners, EPA will contribute to improving environmental and human health protection. Next Generation Compliance complements the agency’s E-Enterprise initiative.
Addressing Phosphorus and Nitrogen Pollution in America’s Waters. Nutrient pollution is one of the nation’s most widespread and challenging environmental problems. To assist in tackling this challenge, EPA is requesting an increase of $15 million in Clean Water Act Section 106 Water Pollution Control grant funding to support states, interstate agencies and tribes that commit to strengthening their nutrient management efforts. Additionally, EPA will work to achieve water-quality improvements in key watersheds across the country in partnership with states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is in addition to EPA’s core clean water programs and grants that support states in the development and implementation of nutrient pollution reduction strategies, as well as provide technical guidance and resources to help states develop water quality criteria for nutrients. These efforts may also reduce the need for treatment of drinking water, as sources are better protected from these pollutants.Promoting Sustainable Community Water Resources. This Fiscal Year 2014 budget seeks to ensure that federal dollars provided through the State Revolving Funds (SRF) support efficient system-wide planning, improvements in technical, financial, and managerial capacity, and the design, construction, and ongoing management of sustainable water infrastructure. The FY 2014 budget requests $1.1 billion for the Clean Water SRF and $817 million for the Drinking Water SRF. EPA is working to increase the use of upfront planning that considers a full range of alternatives, including “green” infrastructure, to ensure timely, relevant and cost-effective investments.
Continuing EPA’s Commitment to Innovative Research Solutions. EPA’s research budget provides $554 million to support critical research in key areas such as chemical safety; sustainable water resources; healthy communities; air, climate and energy, homeland security; and human health risk assessment. EPA’s 2014 request reflects the Obama administration’s commitment to drive strong economic growth by supporting innovative research to reduce pollution to our environment and public health, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and transition our country to move toward a clean energy future.
Reducing and Eliminating Programs. The budget includes $54 million in savings by eliminating several EPA programs that have either completed their goals or can be implemented through other federal or state efforts. This request also identifies 20 programs that are being reduced by 10% or more in FY 2014.