WASHINGTON – The Obama Administration proposed a FY 2012 budget of $8.973 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Feb. 14. This proposal reflects President Obama’s commitment to ensuring the government lives within its means while ensuring that EPA can carry out its core mission: protecting public health and our environment while reducing air and water pollution in communities across America.
This budget proposal represents about a 13 percent decrease from the FY 2010 budget of $10.3 billion.
“As millions of families are cutting back and spending less, they expect the same good fiscal sense out of their government. That is why this budget reflects the tough choices needed for our nation’s short- and long-term fiscal health – and allows EPA to maintain its fundamental mission of protecting human health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “This budget focuses our resources on the most urgent health and environmental challenges we face. Though it includes significant cuts, it provides EPA with what we need to fundamentally protect the health of the American people.”
Some key 2012 budget initiatives include:
$350 million for projects strategically chosen to target the most significant threats to people’s health in the Great Lakes ecosystem, a $125 million decrease from FY 2010, the first year of the initiative.
$2.5 billion–a decrease of $947 million– combined for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). EPA will continue to work with states and communities to enhance their capacity to provide clean water and safe drinking water to Americans. Federal dollars provided through SRFs will help spur efficient, system-wide planning and ongoing management of sustainable water infrastructure.
$1.2 billion for the Superfund program to support cleanup at hazardous waste sites that addresses human health and environmental hazards at the nation’s highest-priority sites. While EPA will be exploring efficiencies in the program, the $70 million reduction to Superfund programs will slow the pace of new projects and completion of projects.
$27.5 million increase in enforcement and compliance, allowing for critical investments to increase efficiencies and streamline enforcement by using the latest e-reporting and monitoring tools. EPA will increase oversight and inspections at high-risk chemical and oil facilities in order to protect Americans’ health.
$16.1 million more to reduce chemical risks, increase the pace of chemical hazard assessments, and provide the public with greater access to chemical information so it can make better informed decisions about it health. Learning more about these chemicals will help protect Americans from potential threats to their health.
$1.2 billion for state and tribal grants — an overall increase of $84.9 million over FY 2010. This funding will help communities take steps to meet the pollution standards EPA has developed under the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
$67.4 million to support EPA’s efforts to clean up America’s great water bodies, specifically in the Chesapeake Bay. This water body serves as an economic engine for an entire region of the country, and millions of Americans rely on it for access to clean, safe water. Investing in these waters will help local economies and protect Americans’ health.
$584 million to support research and innovation into new and emerging environmental science. This includes a $24.7 million increase to Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants to ensure that EPA is using the best science to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we build our communities on. EPA’s research program is being restructured to ensure that scientific work is conducted more efficiently and effectively.