Speeches - By Date
EPA ON 2000 BUDGET07/27/1999
CAROL M. BROWNER
ADMINISTRATOR, U.S. EPA
I am deeply concerned about EPA’s ability in the future to protect our nation’s public health and environment as the result of last night’s mark-up of the 2000 budget plan by the House Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill robs environmental cops of any basic authority by cutting more than half of the funds for hiring the experts who are critical to investigating and prosecuting enforcement cases. The President’s Clean Air Partnership Fund – which would make funds available to cities and states nationwide to solve their air pollution problems locally – has been cut by almost 80 percent, which could affect more than 240 communities nationwide. Funds were cut in half for addressing the challenge of global warming with programs like voluntarily promoting new energy-efficient products that save consumers and businesses money while lowering greenhouse emissions. Some $50 million was cut from the Superfund program, which under this Administration has operated at a record pace to clean up toxic waste dumps.
In addition, we are concerned about anti-environmental riders, including one on climate change which could prevent voluntary activities by businesses to reduce energy costs, and another that may delay EPA’s implementation of the Civil Rights Act.
Finally, a staggering $345 million was taken from EPA’s overall budget and “earmarked” by individual members of Congress for some 230 special projects in their districts. These projects funnel huge amounts of money away from more critical programs designed to provide health and environmental protections for all Americans.
I hope that we can work with Congress in a bipartisan fashion to correct these and other concerns as the budget process moves forward.