EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson's testimony today before the U.S. Senate, Committee on Environment and Public Works:
EPA's budget request of $8.344 billion focuses on fulfilling EPA's core mission of protecting public health and the environment, while making the sacrifices and tough decisions that Americans across the country are making every day.
EPA's budget request fully reflects the President's commitment to reducing government spending and finding cost savings in a responsible manner while supporting clean air, clean water and the innovative safe guards that are essential to an America that's built to last. In some cases we have had to take a step back from programs - this budget reflects a savings of $50 million through the elimination of several EPA programs and activities that have either met their goals, or can be achieved at the state or local level or by other federal agencies.
Let me spend a moment discussing major elements of EPA's budget request. This budget recognizes the importance of our partners at the state, local and tribal level. As you know, they are at the front lines of implementing our environmental laws like the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. In fact, the largest portion – 40 percent of EPA's funding request – is directed to the state and tribal assistance grants appropriation to support their efforts.
Specifically, this budget proposes that $1.2 billion - nearly 15 percent of EPA's overall request - be allocated back to the states and tribes, through categorical grants. This includes funding for state and local air quality management grants, pollution control grants and the tribal general assistance program.
The budget also proposes that a combined $2 billion - another 25 percent of EPA's budget request - also goes directly to the states for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. This funding will help support efficient system wide investments and development of water infrastructure in our communities. We are working collaboratively to identify opportunities to fund green infrastructure - projects that can reduce pollution efficiently and less expensively than traditional grey infrastructure.
Additionally, EPA's budget request would fund the protection of the nation’s land and water in local communities. Reflecting the President's commitment to restoring and protecting the Great Lakes, this budget requests that Congress maintain the current funding level of $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This support will continue to be used for collaborative work with partners at the state, local and tribal level, and also with non-profit and municipal groups. The budget also requests support for protection of the Chesapeake Bay, and several other treasured and economically significant water bodies. The budget reflects the importance of cleaning up contaminated land sites in our communities by requesting $755 million for continued support of the Superfund cleanup programs and maintains the agency’s emergency preparedness and response capabilities.