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FY2010 Environmental Protection Agency Appropriations (6/26/09)

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Funding for the EPA is allocated to a number of environmental monitoring, compliance and research programs in the areas of clean water, clean air, land preservation, ecosystem restoration, and cleanup of hazardous substances. For more background information on the EPA, visit the AGI Federal Agencies policy page.

For analysis of hearings held by the House and the Senate on EPA appropriations, click here.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Environmental Protection Agency Appropriations Process


FY09 Enacted

House Action

Senate Action
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (total)


Science and Technology


--Air Toxics and Quality

--Climate Protection Program

--Clean Air Research

(Global Change Research)

--Clean Water Research
Environmental Programs and Management
2, 392
2, 941
--Air Toxics and Quality
--Climate Protection Program

(Energy STAR)


(Methane to Markets)


(GHG Reporting Registry)

--Water: Ecosystems
--Water Quality Protection
Hazardous Substances Superfund
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks
State and Tribal Assistance Grants
--Clean Water State Revolving Funds
--Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds
--Brownfields Projects

President's Request

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would receive $10.5 billion in the President’s fiscal year 2010 (FY10) budget request, a $2.8 billion increase over FY09. “EPA’s new budget reflects the President’s commitment to growing a clean energy economy while protecting human health and the environment,” said Administrator Lisa Jackson. “These investments demonstrate that it is possible to work towards both a green economy and a green environment by positioning EPA to lead the way in green jobs, in innovation and technology, and in action on global climate change.” In addition, the EPA received $7.2 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 specifically for clean water and environmental clean-up programs.

The President’s budget focuses on five goals: clean air and global climate change ($1.1 billion), clean and safe water ($5.1 billion), land preservation and restoration ($1.8 billion), healthy communities and ecosystems ($1.7 billion), and compliance and environmental stewardship ($790 million).

To address climate change, the budget would invest $17 million in the greenhouse gas (GHG) registry. There is also $5 million for analytical support of GHG cap and trade programs, including verification. Related to clean air, the air toxics program will receive $3.3 million to improve monitoring capabilities.

The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds would receive $3.9 billion, a 157% increase over FY09. Along with the $6 billion from ARRA, the investments will spur water efficiency, “green infrastructure,” new jobs, and an upgraded national infrastructure. The budget also includes $475 million for the Great Lakes Initiative, a project to protect and restore these lakes as wells as the Chesapeake Bay and Anacostia River, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, Lake Champlain and others.

The EPA would continue its commitment to preserving and restoring land from harmful substances through waste management and cleanup. Waste management includes reducing waste, recycling, preventing spills, and cleaning up contaminated land. There would be $1.3 billion specifically for hazardous waste sites.

To restore communities and ecosystems, EPA would direct the budget towards managing environmental risks through the Brownfields program and an enhanced toxics program. $175 million would go towards additional training, assessment, and clean-up of Brownfields. Monitoring and assessment of toxic material would be improved though a $55 million budget. In additional, some of this goal will be met through the Clean Air and Clean Water initiatives.

Environmental stewardship at EPA focuses on improving compliance with environmental laws, with $600 million going towards enforcement.

In addition, $842 million would be directed towards science and technology to preserve scientific integrity. The money would ensure “rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific analyses.”

House Action


The House of Representatives considers funding for the Department of the Interior within the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Chaired by Representative Dicks (D-WA), other members include Representatives Moran (D-VA), Hinchey (D-NY), Olver (D-MA) Mollohan (D-WV), Chandler (D-KY), Pastor (D-AZ), Price (D-NC), Obey (D-WI), Simpson (R-ID), Calvert (R-CA), LaTourette (R-OH), Cole (R-OK), and Lewis (R-CA).

Senate Action

The Senate considers funding for the EPA in the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Chaired by Senator Feinstein (D-CA), other members include Senators Byrd (D-WV), Leahy (D-VT), Dorgan (D-ND), Mikulski (D-MD), Kohl (D-WI), Johnson (D-SD, Reed (D-RI), Nelson (D-NE), Cochran (R-MS), Bennett (R-UT), Gregg (R-NH), and Alexander (R-TN).

Conference Committee Action

Appropriations Hearings

  • May 12, 2009: Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing "The President's Proposed EPA Budget for Fiscal Year 2010"

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing "The President's Propoposed EPA Budget for Fiscal Year 2010"
May 12, 2009

Ms. Lisa Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Committee Members Present
Barbara Boxer, Chairwoman (D-CA)
David Vitter (R-LA)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

On May 12, 2009, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee received testimony from Ms. Lisa Jackson, the recently appointed Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning President Obama’s fiscal year 2010 proposed budget for the agency.

The fiscal year 2010 (FY10) budget request from the President is $10.5 billion, which represents a 37 percent increase over the FY09 budget. This increase would be the highest level of funding ever in the agency’s 39 year history. The bump in the EPA budget is another indication of the wave of changing priorities set forth by the Obama Administration, as pointed out by Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA). In her opening comments Boxer stated, “Clearly during the last administration, there was rarely any good news about the budget,” and noted that in the Bush Administration’s proposed 2009 budget, funding for the EPA was cut by 26 percent from the 2008 budget levels.

The FY10 budget places a new emphasis on water infrastructure in the nation, as it includes $3.9 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water state revolving funds to revamp the nation’s aging water treatment facilities. This commitment is a 157 percent increase for the revolving funds program, a move that will help facilities across the country maintain compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. In other water related topics, the new Great Lakes Basin restoration program is slated to receive $475 million towards efforts dealing with invasive species, nonpoint-source pollution, in-situ lakebed toxins, and habitat loss. Other geographic areas are also designated to receive funds to tackle issues similar to the Great Lakes, including Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay, and the Chesapeake Bay. EPA efforts involving climate change, primarily with greenhouse gas inventory assessment and reporting, received $19 million as part of the agency’s goal of helping the nation transition towards a clean energy economy, reduce the dependency of petrochemical products, and slow climate change. This category in the budget, however, was a catalyst for heated partisan commentary starting from the onset in the hearing.

David Vitter (R-LA) fired the first shot across the bow by questioning the Obama Administration’s economic recovery strategy, noting “broad conflicting signals given by the administration through the budget. On one hand, he [Obama] touts fiscal responsibility, on the other hand he proposes major spending increases which result in record deficits and national debt.” In his criticism of Obama Administration spending, Vitter used the EPA’s 37 percent FY10 budget increase as an example and further added that “EPA has a very important responsibility in protecting our environment, it also has a responsibility not to regulate our economy into a full blown depression.” Vitter also expressed dismay with the EPA’s recent classification of six greenhouse gases (GHG) as pollutants, which the agency could regulate. He stated that this move was an effort to pressure Congress to pass legislation to mitigate GHG emissions through a program such as cap-and-trade. Such a program, Vitter noted, would cause serious negative repercussions to the economy without stemming the tide of increased greenhouse gases worldwide since other developing nations will continue large scale emissions of GHGs. Despite his reservations about the EPA’s role in GHG monitoring, Vitter did note that “there are some important and good expenditures,” citing particularly funding for water infrastructure. Chairwoman Boxer added a rebuttal, pointing out that “the fact is, when we do this right, we’re going to create clean energy jobs that will never go away, we will get off of foreign oil, and we’ll have enough money for consumer rebates to keep people whole, and that’s the truth, so all of this fear mongering is off base.” 

After thanking Boxer for her “renewable energy,” Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) continued to address Vitter’s comments on GHG mitigation. Lautenberg pointed out that the state of Louisiana received an abundance of financial aid from the federal government after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and nobody questioned what that spending did to the budget or deficit. Lautenberg urged the committee to look beyond the numbers in the EPA budget and envision what those funding levels will equate to in terms of cleaner water, cleaner air, and a reduction in the rate of climate change for future generations. He concluded by stating that “instead of sitting here as auditors, we ought to sit here as doctors.”

Bernie Sanders (I-VT) continued discussion of the urgency of action towards climate change, stating that for the last eight years the administration “didn’t even believe in science,” but that society has now run out of options when it comes to acting on climate change. He further noted, “Government has a sacred obligation of protecting its people.”

John Barrasso (R-WY) stated in his opening comments that the nation must include all sources, renewable and fossil alike, in the energy portfolio during the shift towards energy independence and a cleaner environment. Barrasso had harsh words for the proposed EPA budget, noting that it will create a “regulatory monster” that will hinder the energy industry with a “staggering number of rules.” Barrasso also attacked Jackson on the EPA’s recent categorizing of six GHGs as pollutants, and submitted a new White House Office of Management and Budget memo stating that there was no scientific basis for the classification of these gases as pollutants. Jackson responded by indicating the analysis of the gases was conducted before she became EPA Administrator, and noted that just because those gases were classified as pollutants does not mean imminent regulation by the EPA. Rather it supports the need for a gradual shift towards a cap-and-trade program that uses the markets to help reduce GHG emissions. Boxer came to the defense of Jackson, stating that “attacking the EPA is unnecessary, they have the ability to act, and we in Congress have the ability to act.”

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-CT) pointed out that the U.S. Senate is one of the last places in the country where the debate on climate change continues, noting that board rooms of electric utilities and other industries emitting GHGs across the country “get it,” despite the fact that the debate still continues to rage in the Senate.

Chairwoman Boxer noted that she was “happy with most of [the budget], concerned with some of it.” Boxer had particular concern with the fact that the Superfund program is receiving an increase of $24 million over FY09, yet will be addressing fewer clean-up sites than in the past. Jackson informed Boxer that early on in the Superfund project, a lot of the “easier, low hanging fruit” projects were being dealt with, and the remaining projects now being addressed are more expensive and time consuming. Boxer also asked Jackson about efforts to more effectively regulate coal-ash pits, a topic that received a great deal of attention late in 2008 after the coal-ash slurry spill in Tennessee. Jackson indicated that a new set of regulations will be available by the end of the year, and that the EPA and state agencies have identified several more “ticking time bombs” across the nation that will need to be addressed.

Links to witness testimonies and a video archive of the hearing can be found here.


Sources: EPA website, hearing testimony, EPA budget briefings

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at

Contributed by Linda Rowan and Corina Cerovski-Darriau, AGI Government Affairs Program; Clint Carney, 2009 AGI/AAPG Spring Intern

Last updated June 26, 2009


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