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Obama cuts EPA’s 2014 budget by nearly $300 million

More technology will be leveraged to “transform”agency

Improving Air Quality. The agency’s proposal requests $175 million to support its work to meet its court-ordered deadlines to develop, implement and review statutorily mandated ambient air quality standards and guidance and air toxics regulations. In addition, EPA will continue to provide support to its state, local and Tribal partners to implement these rules by providing analytical tools for emissions and quality assurance, as well as air quality systems to house and exchange data and technology.

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.

Protecting Our Land. In FY 2014, the Agency is requesting over $1.34 billion to continue to apply the most effective approaches to preserve and restore land by developing and implementing prevention programs, improving response capabilities, and maximizing the effectiveness of response and cleanup actions under RCRA, Superfund, Leaking Underground Storage Tank and other authorities. This strategy will help ensure that human health and the environment are protected and that land is returned to beneficial use in the most effective way.

Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals. Ensuring the safety of new or existing chemicals in commerce to protect the American people remains a key EPA priority. Chemicals are used in the production of our homes and automobiles as well as the food we eat. Chemicals often are released into the environment as a result of their manufacturing, processing, use, and disposal. The $686.2 million requested in FY 2014 will allow the EPA to sustain its success in managing the potential risks of new chemicals entering commerce without impacting progress in assessing and ensuring the safety of existing chemicals.

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 towards a clean energy future.

Reducing EPA’s Physical Footprint and Energy Costs. Since 2006, the EPA has released approximately 417,000 square-feet of office space, resulting in a cumulative annual rent avoidance of over $14.2 million. In addition, across all agency facilities, on-going improvements in operating efficiency combined with the use of advanced technologies and energy sources have reduced energy utilization, resulting in annual cost savings of $5.9 million. The FY 2014 request includes $17 million to accelerate the space consolidation effort, with $12 million to the support design and engineering of a consolidated federally-owned EPA multi-use facility in Las Vegas, NV. The new facility will consolidate offices currently in leased locations, create a smaller energy-efficient office and lab footprint, and lower operating costs.

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.

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