Feb 02, 2010

EPA’s Budget Proposal Seeks Efficiencies, Increased Environmental Protection

Budget promotes efforts to clean up America’s water bodies, address community water priorities

The Obama Administration proposed a budget of $10 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This budget is in line with the president’s call to streamline and find efficiencies in the agency’s operations while supporting the seven priority areas EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson outlined to guide EPA’s work.

“To meet our environmental challenges and ensure fiscal responsibility, we’re proposing targeted investments in core priorities,” said Jackson. “This budget cuts spending while promoting clean air, land and water; growing the green economy and strengthening enforcement. The president’s budget is focused on creating the conditions that help American families, communities and small businesses thrive. Clean air, clear water and green jobs are rebuilding the foundations for prosperity in communities across the country.”

This budget includes $1.3 billion to address Superfund sites that may be releasing harmful or toxic substances into the surrounding community. In addition, $215 million is provided to clean up abandoned or underused industrial and commercial sites that are available for alternative uses but where redevelopment may be complicated by the presence of environmental contaminants.

This budget also offers $27 million for EPA’s new Healthy Communities Initiative. This initiative will address community water priorities; promote clean, green and healthy schools; improve air toxics monitoring in at-risk communities; and encourage sustainability by helping to ensure that policies and spending at the national level do not adversely affect the environment and public health or disproportionately harm disadvantaged communities.

This budget broadens efforts to clean up America’s water bodies. It provides $63 million for efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay and $17 million for the Mississippi River Basin to respond to non-point source control recommendations of the Nutrients Innovation Task Group and implement recommendations outlined in the Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Action Plan.

This budget also invests $3.3 billion to maintain and improve outdated water infrastructure and keep wastewater and drinking water clean and safe. This is in addition to $6 billion in funding provided to states through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.