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PR FY98 BUDGET FOR EPA
Release Date: 02/07/97
PR FY98 BUDGET FOR EPA
FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1997
EPA ANNOUNCES PRESIDENT CLINTON'S PROPOSED 1998 BUDGET FOR EPA
Underscoring the Administration's commitment to public health and the environment -- with an emphasis on protecting children
-- President Clinton today proposed a fiscal year 1998 budget of $7.6 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
an increase of $846 million, or 12 percent over EPA's fiscal year 1997 enacted budget. The President's budget proposal
protects public health and the environment and other priorities within the framework of balancing the budget.
In announcing the budget request for EPA, Administrator Carol M. Browner said, "This budget builds on four years of Clinton
Administration progress in protecting public health and the environment. It will allow our nation to meet the environmental
challenges of the next century by protecting the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we live on for all citizens,
especially our children, who are among the most vulnerable to environmental risks.
"Specifically, this budget will provide citizens with more information about toxic chemicals released in their communities,"
Browner said. "It will make sure that Americans living near the most dangerous hazardous waste sites will see those dumps
cleaned up. It means economic revitalization for communities throughout the country where scores of contaminated commercial
properties will be put back into productive commerce. And it assures that environmental decisions will continue to be based on
The FY1998 budget proposal follows through on the commitments the President made last August in his major
environmental-policy address in Kalamazoo, Mich., when he called for clean up of the worst toxic waste dumps by 2000,
expansion of Americans' right-to-know about harmful pollutants, creation of more urban economic revitalization through
Brownfields redevelopments, and the strengthening of environmental enforcement.
Second, the proposed budget funds two major environmental laws called for by President Clinton and passed by the Congress
last year -
the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments and the Food Safety Act. Those laws will ensure greater safety of the water
all Americans drink and the food they eat.
Third, it supports the continuing development of quality science
and the development of new tools to address the next generation of environmental challenges.
Finally, the President's budget includes a series of unprecedented actions to protect children, who are among the most
vulnerable to risks from pollution. Under this budget, EPA will begin to review new health standards to ensure protection of
children and will conduct research to learn more about the effects of pollution on children.
More than $900 million dollars are designated for these key policy initiatives. The funding for them comprises $846 million in
new money plus more than $100 million in redirected funds. Among the major Administration policy directions:
$650 million to clean up the worst toxic-waste sites by the year 2000 -- doubling the pace of cleanup;
$50 million to expand Brownfields cleanups that help revitalize abandoned areas and return them to productive economic use
for communities; plus $5 million for helping provide urban communities with tools and information to develop community-based
solutions to their environmental problems.
$35 million to expand right-to-know to ensure that citizens can get information about toxic pollution that is released in their
$1 million to assist state and local officials for better criminal enforcement of environmental laws.
$8 million to scientifically assess the risks of pollution to children and to make sure that they are protected when setting health
standards for all EPA programs.
$36 million to implement the new Food Safety Act and the new Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments, both passed last year.
Both laws contain special provisions to make sure that children are adequately protected.
$27 million to provide quality science in assessing risks in areas like air and water pollution.
$4 million for developing a new generation of environmentalprotection technology to address emerging environmental problems.
$40 million to continue to support state, tribal and local environmental protection programs.
$63 million to improve energy and transportation efficiency to reduce pollution and climate change gases.
The FY1998 budget request would increase EPA's "workyears," or number of full-time employees, by 332, to 18,283.
Carol M. Browner
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
FY 1998 Budget Presentation
February 6, 1997
Over the course of his first term in office, President Clinton showed that it is possible to significantly reduce the deficit, restore
the nation's economic health, and strengthen the health of our environment -- and with it the health of millions of Americans,
particularly our children.
The President's 1998 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency expands on that commitment -- and that promise. It
builds on the last four years of progress in safeguarding public health and the environment. And it prepares the nation to meet
the environmental challenges of the 21st Century by increasing this agency's resources for protecting the air we breathe, the
water we drink and the land on which we live.
Most importantly, this is a budget for America's children. They are the ones who will live most of their lives in the next century.
They are the ones who are so often among the most vulnerable to environmental health risks. Everything we do to make our air,
water and soil cleaner and more healthy, we do for them.
For fiscal year 1998, the President is requesting an increase for EPA of nearly $850 million -- about 12 percent -- over the
1997 appropriated levels. When you add the additional resources that our agency will be redirecting from other areas, this
budget contains a total of more than $900 million in new, high priority investments for protecting public health and the
The lion's share of that increase -- $700 million -- will fund the President's "call to action" to clean up the worst environmental
problems that millions of Americans face in their own communities.
What does that mean?
It means that millions of Americans who live near the nation's worst toxic waste sites will start off their 21st Century in healthier,
toxic-free neighborhoods -- because we're going to double the pace of Superfund cleanups and rid this country of 500 more of
those sites before this century ends.
It means economic revitalization for communities throughout the country, where scores of abandoned commercial properties
will be redeveloped and returned to neighborhoods for their productive use.
Additionally, this budget will increase funding for further expansion of the public's right-to-know about toxic pollution in their
neighborhoods -- because there is no doubt that informed, involved local citizens will always make far better decisions than
some distant bureaucracy.
And it means a tougher, more aggressive criminal enforcement effort against those who pollute our air, our water, and our land.
Through these critical initiatives, along with the funding to make them work, the President is delivering on the new, national
commitment to environmental protection that he announced last August in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
But there's more. Another large chunk of the President's budget increase for EPA -- $146 million -- will fund a variety of
critical initiatives, all of them intended to address the next generation of environmental challenges.
These include funds specifically targeted to protect children from environmental health threats, to revitalize the environmental
and economic health of cities, and to strengthen our partnerships with state, local and tribal governments to get the job done.
In keeping with the President's overall promise to lay the groundwork for the next century, we are going to step up our efforts
to harness the forces of science and technology toward the cause of improving our environment. This budget includes funding to
improve quality science and research. It includes initiatives aimed at improving energy and transportation efficiency to reduce
pollution and greenhouse gases. And it strives to help the scientific community develop a whole new generation of tools to more
accurately assess the health of the environment.
Tuesday night, in his state of the union address, the President announced that he will designate ten "American Heritage Rivers"
as part of a new initiative to work with communities, to help them clean up our precious rivers and to revitalize the areas around
This builds on EPA's four years of progress in working community by community to help solve environmental problems in ways
that work best for local citizens. It will tap into the successful Brownfields, right-to-know, watershed protection and urban
revitalization initiatives already underway across the country.
Additionally, it is an opportunity for a variety of federal agencies to join with EPA in protecting the nation's rivers, to enhance
Americans' enjoyment of them, and to protect the public health.
On another front, this budget contains a $36 million increase to enable EPA to do its part to implement two major new
environmental laws called for by the President and passed by Congress last year -- laws designed to enhance the safety of the
water we drink and the food we eat.
Under the Safe Water Drinking Act Amendements, EPA will undertake a variety of new efforts to improve the way we set and
enforce drinking water standards, protect drinking water supplies, help communities upgrade their facilities, and provide timely
and important information to consumers.
Under the new Food Quality Protection Act, EPA will be adding a new level of protection from pesticides in our food. The
budget includes money to set a single, health-based, child-driven standard for pesticides in all foods, along with the resources
necessary to reevaluate some 9,000 different pesticides to assure safety, and to provide better information to the public.
All of these initiatives will be enhanced by our efforts to reinvent the way EPA works. In fact, this budget increases our
resources for reinvention projects. We will strive to carry out this action plan in common sense, cost effective ways.
Let me sum up by saying that since the start of this administration, we have tried to put children at the focal point of EPA's
mission. We know that by protecting some of the most vulnerable among us, we will be protecting everyone.
This budget continues and expands that particular commitment. Not only does it enable us to establish new pesticide and
drinking water standards aimed at children, but with it we begin to review all new health standards with special emphasis on
how children are affected. Our new right-to-know initiatives will be designed to give parents the information they need to
protect their kids. And it funds new research on how pollution affects children's health.
Yes, this is a budget for America's children -- and for a cleaner, safer and more healthy environment.
It is a budget that says to America: "We can put our fiscal house in order without sacrificing our basic values. We can protect
both the health of our economy and the health of our children." The President has shown us how. And today he carries that
commitment into the next century.