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Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks on the FY2011 Budget, As Prepared

As prepared for delivery.

Hello and welcome. Before getting to the details of EPA’s fiscal year 2011 proposed budget, let me say a word about our overall situation. We are moving steadily out of the recession of the last two years. As we saw on Friday, the nation’s GDP grew faster in the last quarter than it has in 6 years. The President’s 2011 Budget is a responsible strategy for continuing to reverse the decline in economic security that Americans struggled with over the past decade. Across the administration we are making core investments in education, clean energy, infrastructure and innovation – not to mention the environmental protection that keep our communities healthy and clean. This budget does exactly what government should be doing in times like these: creating the conditions that help American families, communities and small businesses thrive. The budget also reflects President Obama’s commitment to fiscal responsibility. Families across America are tightening their budgets; the President has directed us to do the same.

The $10 billion proposed for EPA – though a reduction from last year – will support key priorities in a time of fiscal challenges. Those priorities are: Taking Action on Climate Change, Improving Air Quality, Assuring the Safety of Chemicals, Cleaning up Our Communities, Protecting America’s Waters, Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and working for Environmental Justice, and Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships. Let me touch on some of the highlights:

To take action on climate change and promote clean energy, the budget includes an increase of more than $43 million. This will support implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule and facilitate permitting and enforcement under the Clean Air Act.

That funding will continue work on the clean cars program and help us develop common sense solutions for cutting emissions from major stationary and mobile sources. And it will promote work on current and future carbon capture and sequestration projects. In addition, $55 million will be invested in the successful Energy Star program, cutting energy costs and emissions for homes and businesses.

To clean up our communities, we’re proposing investments that will get dangerous pollution out, and put good jobs back in. That starts with $215 million for Brownfields, with increases for planning, cleanup, job training and redevelopment. We’ll also provide funding for assessment and cleanup of underground storage tanks and other petroleum contamination on Brownfields. We’re proposing $1.3 billion for Superfund cleanup efforts across the country, and continue the commitment to civil and criminal enforcement announced last month. The budget proposes $27 million for EPA’s new Healthy Communities Initiative, which covers community water priorities; clean, green, healthy schools; air toxics monitoring in at-risk communities; and sustainability. That includes $6 million for the Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools Initiative to promote healthier school environments for all children and strengthen this partnership with the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. It also means an increase of $5 million for Sustainability and Smart Growth work, including the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities with the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

To improve air quality we’ll continue our support of enhanced monitoring and enforcement efforts already underway. Through the Healthy Communities Initiative, we will provide $6 million to improve air toxics monitoring capabilities where children and other sensitive populations live, work, learn and play, and address compliance and enforcement issues in those communities. Air improvements will also come through significant assistance to states, which I will say more about in a moment.

We’re expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice. The increased Brownfields investments I mentioned will target under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – places where environmental cleanups and new jobs are most needed. We’re also proposing $9 million for Community Water Priorities in the Healthy Communities Initiative, funds that will help underserved communities restore urban waterways and address water quality challenges.

To further protect America’s waters, this budget provides $2 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving fund and $1.3 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. We’re requesting $63 million for the Chesapeake Bay program including increased funding to implement President Obama’s Chesapeake Bay Executive Order. Almost $17 million will help address nutrient pollution and protect the waters in the Mississippi River Basin. And the budget includes $300 million to carry on the historic Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The budget also proposes $10 million for work on sustainable water infrastructure systems, more than doubling green infrastructure research.

Another hallmark is increased support for states and tribes, with $1.3 billion in categorical grants for state and tribal efforts. Those include $83 million in increased support to help states meet Clean Air Act requirements – the air improvement support I mentioned earlier – as well as $45 million more for water enforcement and permitting programs. We’re proposing a new $30 million grant program to help tribes implement environmental programs, and a $9 million increase in Tribal General Assistance Program grants.

Finally, to assure the safety of chemicals, we’re proposing $56 million to continue development of chemical management plans for high-concern chemicals. This budget invests $29 million in the continuing effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning, and $6 million to support national efforts to mitigate exposure to high-risk legacy chemicals, such as mercury and asbestos.

We are also requesting a science budget of $847 million to enhance – among other things – air toxics research and the study of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The largest scientific research increase will go towards our Science to Achieve Results or STAR grants: an increase of $26 million that supports the study of endocrine disruptors and other emerging contaminants of concern.

To ensure the effectiveness of all these efforts, the budget includes approximately $618 million for EPA’s enforcement and Compliance Assurance Programs.

These are the highlights of a budget that reduces costs while strengthening American communities and boosting the green economy. Responsible, targeted investments will protect our health and the environment, advance creative programs and innovative solutions, and help build a new foundation for our prosperity. Thank you very much.