The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: February 4, 2008
EPA's FY 2009 budget focuses on next phase of environmental progress
(Nanowerk News) Building on 37 years of progress in protecting human health and the environment, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today released his agency's $7.14 billion fiscal year 2009 budget.
"President Bush's budget request will continue to deliver environmental results today, as well as keep EPA on course to deliver a cleaner, healthier tomorrow," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "This budget represents government at its best – it helps EPA meet our environmental goals, while being responsible stewards of taxpayers' dollars."
Specifically the budget proposes to strengthen EPA's efforts in Energy and Homeland Security, urban areas around our major ports, nanotechnology research targets and recognizes the challenge of managing in a time of tight fiscal constraints.
In Energy, the budget proposes an additional $14 million to meet the increased permitting and environmental review responsibilities that have come with the upsurge in proposed energy projects in response to higher energy prices. The additional funding will provide more workers with the required technical expertise, and grants will provide money for our state partners to increase their capacity to review and assess proposed projects.
To promote energy efficiency and meet the mandates of energy legislation, EPA proposes $49.2 million for Clean Diesel grants. $15 million of these grants will be specifically targeted to support EPA's Sustainable Ports Initiative, which recognizes that the forecasted tripling of container cargo in the next 12 years presents a major opportunity to make sure that the new infrastructure is built to be as energy-efficient as possible.
EPA also continues to recognize our responsibilities to protect against terrorist attacks and natural disasters. For FY 2009, EPA proposes to add $32 million above the FY 08 Enacted level for a total investment of $170 million to expand our emergency teams' capability to address more than one simultaneous event, and improve our water infrastructure security.
The proposed 2009 spending plan proposes the largest enforcement budget ever: an increase of $9 million for a total budget of $563 million. This includes the largest criminal enforcement budget ever: an increase of $2.4 million for a total of $52 million.
For water programs, the FY 2009 budget meets the president's commitment for funding State Revolving Fund grants with a request of $555.5 million for clean water grants and $842.2 million for drinking water grants. Several sustainable infrastructure initiatives are included: targeting Energy Star saving technologies to help reduce the $4 billion annually that water utilities spend on energy costs, supporting a multi-year research program to foster innovation in distribution and collection systems and propose private activity bonds to provide another mechanism for water project financing.
EPA is continuing to build on the success of its Brownfields program, which encourages the clean-up and redevelopment of America's abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since 1995, the program has leveraged more than $10.3 billion in public and private investment, assessed the renovation of 11,500 properties and helped create leverage for more than 47,000 jobs.
To improve air quality, the President's Budget includes:
$186 million for state and local air grants;
$98 million for EPA's climate change programs to build upon partnership efforts to achieve reductions in US greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the president's plan to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent by 2012;
$44 million for Energy Star programs for the commercial, residential and industrial sectors to continue voluntary government/industry partnership programs designed to capitalize on the opportunities that consumers, businesses, and organizations have for making sound investments in efficient equipment, policies and practices;
$5 million for the Asia Pacific Partnership to support international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
$4.4 million for Methane to Markets to promote methane recovery and use at landfills, coal mines and natural gas facilities.
As a scientist, the administrator was particularly proud of the targeted research proposals, including:
An additional $4.5 million for a total of $14.9 million for nanotechnology research to better understand the processes that govern the environmental fate of nano-materials and to capture the data needed for accurate nano-material assessments;
$16 million for global climate change research; and
$9 million for integrated risk information systems.
EPA is also proud to work with other federal agencies and invest $3 million to help build an International Trade Data System to track imported goods and their environmental impacts.
For Superfund the budget requests an increase of $10.2 million for a total of $1,264 million.
More information on the President's FY 2009 budget request for EPA: epa.gov/ocfo/budget/index.htm