- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
WaterThe EPA has budgeted $3.9 billion for maintaining and improving outdated water infrastructure, and wastewater and drinking water operations. The funding will support efforts around the country to build and renovate an estimated 1,700 water infrastructure projects. Funding will also be available to help communities repair and upgrade the aging network of drinking water and wastewater pipes that are overwhelmed and breaking down.
The water budget includes a $475 million multi-agency Great Lakes Initiative to protect and clean up the largest fresh water lakes in the world through restoration efforts, invasive species control, non-point source pollution mitigation and critical habitats protection. The budget also includes funding for efforts to protect, maintain, and restore the Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, Lake Champlain and other large water bodies.
Climate changeThe agency plans to put a small piece of its budget toward "the growing threat of climate change," specifically $17 million into the GHG registry. That involves new analytical tools, upgraded testing capabilities, and coordination with other agencies on research and green initiatives. The registry will include data reporting and implementation efforts, data management systems, guidance and materials for the regulated community and source measurement technologies. The budget also includes an additional $2 million for the EPA to continue to reduce its own GHG emissions by 3 percent each year.
Resource managementThe EPA noted it will be increasing funding for the Inspector General's office to monitor public dollars entrusted to the agency.
Restoring communitiesThe EPA budget is investing in hazardous waste cleanups like Superfund and Brownfields programs that employ thousands of people across the country and restore properties for economic use.
$1.3 billion will go to increase the number of hazardous waste sites ready for anticipated use and fund ongoing site cleanups. The budget proposes to restore the Superfund tax known as the "polluter pays" policy, which expired in 1995, to fund future clean-up efforts. Beginning in 2011, the Superfund tax is estimated to generate $1 billion of revenue a year, rising to $2 billion a year by 2019.
The budget proposes $175 million for the Brownfields program, which will provide additional assessment, clean-up, and job-training grants. The budget also contains $128 million for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank and Underground Storage Tank programs and $18 million for the Oil Spill Response program.