EPA’s FY 2013 Budget Proposal Focuses on Environmental and Human Health Protections

The Obama Administration has proposed a FY 2013 budget of $8.34 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The budget reflects a government-wide effort to reduce spending and find cost-savings, and is $105 million below EPA’s enacted level for FY 2012.

Key FY 2013 budget highlights include:

Supporting State Governments. The budget proposes $1.2 billion in categorical grants for states that are implementing environmental statutes such as the Clean Water Act. The increases from FY 2012 levels nearly $27 million for Pollution Control (Clean Water Act Section 106) grants and about $29 million for the Tribal General Assistance Program.

Protecting America’s Waters. The proposal provides $2 billion for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving funds (SRFs). This will allow the SRFs to finance more than $6 billion in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects annually. EPA will work to target assistance to small and underserved communities with limited ability to repay loans, while maintaining state program integrity.

Investing in Research. EPA’s proposed budget provides $576 million to support research and innovation. Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants are funded at $81 million to conduct research in key areas such as hydraulic fracturing and green infrastructure. Building upon ongoing research and collaborating with the Department of Energy and the US Geological Survey, a total $14 million investment will begin to assess potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on air quality, water quality and ecosystems. The EPA also will release an Interim Report on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources in 2012.

Ongoing Support to Economically and Environmentally Vital Water Bodies. EPA is proposing $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Programs and projects will target the most significant environmental problems in the Great Lakes. About $73 million, which is a $15 million increase, will fund the Chesapeake Bay program’s continued implementation of the president’s Executive Order on Chesapeake Bay Protection and Restoration. Funding will support bay watershed states as they implement plans to reduce nutrient and sediment pollution in an unprecedented effort to restore the ecosystem.

Source: U.S. EPA   February 13, 2012