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EPA Budget Returns Focus to Core Statutory Mission

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WASHINGTON –The proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, announced today, provides $5.655 billion to help the agency protect human health and the environment. With a 31 percent cut from the FY 2017 Annualized Continuing Resolution, and a 30 percent reduction from the FY 2017 Enacted budget, the President’s budget aims to reduce redundancies and inefficiencies and prioritize EPA’s core statutory mission of providing Americans with clean air, land, and water.
“The President’s budget respects the American taxpayer,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This budget supports EPA’s highest priorities with federal funding for priority work in infrastructure, air and water quality, and ensuring the safety of chemicals in the marketplace.”


Supporting the President’s Focus on the Nation’s Infrastructure
The infrastructure of the nation is not limited to roads and bridges. The infrastructure needs of our communities are broader. They include making improvements to drinking water and waste water infrastructure as well as a focus on cleaning up contaminated land. Efforts in the Superfund and Brownfields programs can lead to tangible benefits for communities: a cleaner environment and the redevelopment of sites back to beneficial or to new economic use, which is important to the economic well-being of communities and provides a new foundation for American greatness.

-- EPA’s support for water infrastructure will be provided under the State Revolving Funds (SRFs) and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. The FY 2018 budget includes $2.3 billion for the SRFs and $20 million for the WIFIA program. The WIFIA requires a small appropriation compared to its potential loan volume, demonstrating respect for the American taxpayer. Under WIFIA, EPA could potentially provide approximately $1 billion in credit assistance, which would spur an estimated $2 billion in total infrastructure investment.

-- In FY 2018, the Superfund Remedial program provides $342 million to support states, local communities and tribes in their efforts to assess and cleanup many of the worst contaminated sites in the United States and return them to productive use. EPA will maximize appropriated dollars by reducing administrative costs, identifying efficiencies, and prioritizing the cleanup of sites where funds are available from existing settlements with responsible parties.

-- In FY 2018, EPA is investing over $118 million in support for Brownfields to help communities oversee, assess, safely cleanup and redevelop brownfield properties. The cleanup and reuse of contaminated lands often can play a role in economically revitalizing a community.

Improving America’s Air Quality
EPA’s FY 2018 budget of $448 million provides funding to better manage and support air quality with stakeholders through common sense standards, guidelines, and grant assistance. The budget focuses on air quality efforts and on making progress toward increased attainment. Most notably, $100 million is allotted to perform key activities in support of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). It discontinues funding of the Clean Power Plan, climate change research, and partnership programs. $139 million in program eliminations and $95 million in major programmatic changes will reorient the agency efforts in addressing air quality.

Ensuring Clean and Safe Water
EPA is requesting $83.7 million in drinking water programs to continue to partner with states, drinking water utilities, and other stakeholders to identify and address current and potential sources of drinking water contamination. These efforts are integral to the sustainable infrastructure efforts because source water protection can reduce the need for additional drinking water treatment and associated costs.

The FY 2018 budget includes $193 million to support work in surface water protection and wetlands programs. EPA will continue to provide scientific water quality criteria information, review and approve state water quality standards, and review and approve state lists of impaired waters. In FY 2018, the agency will continue to work with states and other partners on Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) as required by the Clean Water Act, as well as on other waterbody restoration plans for listed impaired waterbodies. EPA also will continue to implement and support core water quality programs that control point-source discharges through permitting and pre-treatment programs. Over $651 million in program eliminations, including Geographic Programs and non-point source grants, and $115 million in major programmatic changes will focus the agency’s water programs on addressing core statutory requirements and national priorities. Responsibility for funding local environmental efforts is returned to State and local entities.

Keeping America’s Environment Safe from Toxic Chemicals
EPA’s chemical safety programs are integral to maintaining environmental and human health. In FY 2018, EPA requests a total of $296 million to strengthen the capability of EPA, other regulators, and the public to assess chemical hazards and potential exposures, identify potential risks to human health and the environment and take appropriate risk management action.

In FY 2018, increased resources will support the agency’s significant continuing and new responsibilities for ensuring that new and existing chemicals are evaluated in a timely manner. EPA will work aggressively to complete additional chemical risk assessments from the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan list of existing chemicals and meet its requirement to review all current pesticide registrations by 2022. The agency also is implementing fee-based funding as is envisioned in the statute. The agency will continue efforts to reduce risk and ensure that safety and compliance, including on-going pesticides licensing efforts. Program eliminations totaling nearly $53 million combined with nearly $60 million in other major program changes, including research programs, will focus federal resources on highest national priorities and core statutory requirements.

Supporting State and Tribal Partners
Effective environmental protection is a joint effort of EPA, states and our tribal partners. EPA must work collectively with states and tribes as the primary implementers of EPA’s statutory obligations. Realizing the value of these partnerships, for FY 2018, EPA is requesting $597 million in funding for State and Tribal Assistance Categorical Grants. These levels are in line with the broader strategy of streamlining environmental protection and focusing federal investment in core statutory programs. The agency will work with states and tribes to target core grant resources and provide flexibility to address their specific priorities.

Reducing and Eliminating Programs
As careful stewards of the taxpayer’s resources, we will look to attack fraud, waste, and abuse. Also, EPA will continue to examine its programs to identify those that create unnecessary redundancies or those that have served their purpose and accomplished their mission. The FY 2018 President’s Budget identifies and eliminates a number of programs totaling over $1 billion. Details can be found in EPA FY 2018 Congressional Justification:

EPA’s FY 2018 budget request includes the elimination of $427 million in Geographic Program funding. Recognizing the progress that has been made to date, these eliminations return responsibility for funding local environmental efforts to state and local entities. EPA will encourage states, tribes, and communities to continue to make progress from within core EPA program funding. In addition, nearly $30 million in locally focused funds for infrastructure projects on Alaska Native Villages and on the US Mexico Border are not requested in this budget; however, these types of projects may be eligible for funding under the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds.

For more information on EPA’s FY 2018 proposed budget, please visit