February 1, 2010

The Obama Administration today proposed a budget of $10 billion for Fiscal Year 2011 for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  According to an EPA press release, this budget heeds President Obama’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.

EPA Administrator Jackson noted: “To meet our environmental challenges and ensure fiscal responsibility, we’re proposing targeted investments in core priorities.  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.”

The seven EPA Priorities are:

  1. Cleaning Up Communities: Monies in the budget are dedicated to Superfund and Brownfield site cleanups.  Funds are also allocated to the EPA’s new Healthy Communities Initiative.
  2. Improving Air Quality: The EPA will work with States to implement stricter standards for smog and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
  3. Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships: The EPA is working with States and tribes to implement new and expanded requirements under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
  4. Taking Action on Climate Change: The budget contains more than $43 million for additional efforts to address climate change and work toward a clean energy future including the greenhouse gas reporting rule.
  5. Protecting America’s Waters: EPA proposes to spend millions on cleaning up America’s great waterbodies including efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and address widespread impacts in the Gulf of Mexico.
  6. Assuring the Safety of Chemicals: This budget calls for $56 million for chemical assessment and risk review to ensure that no unreasonable risks are posed by new or existing chemicals.
  7. Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for Environmental Justice:This budget directs monies to environmental justice programs.  EPA remains committed to identifying and addressing the health and environmental burdens faced by communities disproportionately impacted by pollution.

An EPA press release relating to the Fiscal Year 2010 budget can be found at:http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/4a3d7e51caf96c7a85257359003f533e/0efb5bc261f61eb7852576bd00638467!OpenDocument

A detailed summary of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget can be found at:http://www.epa.gov/budget/2011/2011bib.pdf. This document provides details as to how EPA will direct resources to specific priorities.

At Hessian & McKasy, our environmental law attorneys track developments at the federal and state level. Our environmental lawyers assist clients whose operations are subject to EPA and state regulations and permits.  For information on Hessian & McKasy’s Environmental Law Attorney Practice Group, please visit: www.enviroattorney.net

The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer, Hessian & McKasy, P.A.


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