Senate Environment and Public Works Committee

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget

406 Dirksen
Wed, 22 Mar 2023 14:00:00 GMT

Hearing page

  • Michael Regan, Adminstrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Statement by Administrator Regan on the President’s FY 2024 Budget:

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration released the President’s Budget for fiscal year 2024 to the Congress. The Budget requests over $12 billion in discretionary budget authority for the EPA in 2024, a $1.9 billion or 19-percent increase from the fiscal year 2023 enacted level. EPA will release the full Congressional Justification and Budget in Brief materials soon.

The President’s Budget makes historic investments to support the Agency’s ongoing work to tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, protect air quality across the nation, invest in critical water infrastructure and increase support for our state and Tribal partners in their efforts to implement environmental laws, and continue to rebuild core functions at the Agency.

“EPA is at the center of President Biden’s ambitious environmental agenda and the FY 2024 Budget will ensure the Agency delivers bold environmental actions and economic benefits for all. Coupled with the President’s historic investments in America through significant legislative accomplishments, the Budget will advance EPA’s mission across the board, boosting everything from our efforts to combat climate change, to delivering clean air, safe water, and healthy lands, to protecting communities from harmful chemicals, and to the continued restoration of capacity necessary to effectively implement these programs,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Importantly, the Budget also supports our work to center environmental justice across all of the Agency’s programs, ensuring that no family, especially those living in overburdened and underserved areas, has to worry about the air they breathe, the water they drink, or the environmental safety of their communities.”

Highlights of the President’s FY 2024 Budget include:

Tackling the Climate Crisis with Urgency. The EPA’s Budget prioritizes combatting climate change with the urgency that science demands. The Budget includes $5 billion, a $757 million increase over the 2023 enacted level, to support work reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, building resilience in the face of climate impacts, and engaging with the global community to respond to this shared challenge, while also providing resources to spur economic progress and create good-paying jobs. The Budget proposes a $64.4 million increase over the 2023 enacted budget to implement the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act to continue phasing out potent GHGs known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). It also invests $7 million in wildfire smoke preparedness.

Advancing Environmental Justice. The Budget bolsters the Agency’s efforts to achieve environmental justice in communities across the Nation by investing nearly $1.8 billion across numerous programs in support of environmental justice efforts. This investment supports the implementation of the President’s Justice40 commitment, which ensures at least 40 percent of the benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy, as well as infrastructure work such as Superfund, Brownfields, and SRFs, reach disadvantaged communities, including rural and Tribal communities. Additionally, this Budget will support activities creating good-paying jobs, cleaning up pollution, advancing equity, and securing environmental justice for communities that often bear the brunt of toxic pollution and impacts of climate change. The Budget also includes $91 million for technical assistance to support capacity building for communities to advance equity and justice.

Upgrading Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure and Replacing Lead Pipes Nationwide. The Budget provides more than $4 billion for water infrastructure, an increase of $1 billion over the 2023 enacted level. These resources foster water infrastructure upgrades, with a focus on underserved and rural communities that have historically been overlooked. The Budget funds all authorizations in the original Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 and maintains funding for EPA’s State Revolving Funds at the total 2023 enacted level, which complements funds provided for water infrastructure programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Budget also provides $219 million for two grant programs dedicated to reducing lead in drinking water and lead testing in schools (an increase of $163 million over the 2023 enacted level). It also funds other grants and loans to advance the goal of replacing all lead pipes. Ensuring Clean and Healthy Air for All Communities. The Budget allocates $1.4 billion to improve air quality and reduce localized pollution, reduce exposure to radiation, and improve indoor air for communities across the country. This includes $180 million to support the development and implementation of national emission standards to reduce air pollution from vehicles, engines and fuels. The Budget also supports $367 million to assist air pollution control agencies in the development, implementation, and evaluation of programs for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and to establish standards for reducing air toxics.

Protecting Communities from Hazardous Waste and Environmental Damage. The prevention and cleanup of harmful environmental damage that poses a risk to public health and safety continues to be a top priority for EPA. In addition to an estimated $2.5 billion in Superfund tax revenue that will be available to EPA in 2024, the Budget provides over $350 million for the Superfund program to continue cleaning up some of the Nation’s most contaminated land and respond to environmental emergencies and natural disasters. The Budget also provides over $215 million for EPA’s Brownfields program to provide technical assistance and grants to communities, including overburdened and underserved communities, so they can safely clean up and reuse contaminated properties, as well as $20 million for the Alaska Contaminated Lands program. These programs support the President’s Cancer Moonshot initiative by reducing human exposure to harmful contaminants that are correlated with an increased risk for cancer.

Ensuring Safety of Chemicals for People and the Environment. The Budget provides an investment of $130 million, $49 million more than the 2023 enacted level to build core capacity to implement the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Under TSCA, EPA has a responsibility to ensure the safety of chemicals in or entering commerce. In FY 2024, EPA will focus on evaluating, assessing, and managing risks from exposure to new and existing industrial chemicals to advance human health protection in our communities. Another priority is to implement FIFRA to ensure pesticides pose no unreasonable risks to human health and the environment.

Tackling Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Pollution. The Budget provides approximately $170 million to combat PFAS pollution. PFAS substances are a group of chemicals that threaten the health and safety of all communities. This request allows the EPA to continue working toward commitments made under EPA’s 2021 PFAS Strategic Roadmap, including: increasing our knowledge of PFAS impacts to human health and ecological effects, restricting use to prevent PFAS from entering the air, land, and water, and remediating PFAS that have been released into the environment.

Enforcing and Assuring Compliance with the Nation’s Environmental Laws. The Budget provides $246 million for civil enforcement efforts, crucial funding for enforcement in communities with high pollution exposure, and for preventing the illegal importation and use of climate super-pollutant HFCs in the United States. The Budget also includes: $165 million for compliance monitoring efforts, including funds to conduct inspections in underserved and overburdened communities, and funds to rebuild the agency’s inspector corps; and $75 million for criminal enforcement efforts, which includes funding to increase outreach to victims of environmental crimes and develop a specialized criminal enforcement task force to address environmental justice issues in partnership with the Department of Justice. Restoring Critical Capacity to Carry Out EPA’s Core Mission. To position the Agency with the workforce required to address emerging and ongoing challenges, the Budget added nearly 2,000 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) relative to the current level, for a total of more than 17,000 FTEs, to help rebuild the Agency’s workforce. Developing staffing capacity across the Agency would enable EPA to better protect our Nation’s health, while also providing avenues to strengthen and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Staffing resources would additionally fund a significant expansion of EPA’s paid student internship program to develop a pipeline of qualified staff.

The Budget makes these smart investments to address emerging and ongoing environmental challenges while creating good-paying jobs and improving our country’s long-term fiscal outlook.

Building on the President’s strong record of fiscal responsibility, the Budget more than fully pays for its investments — reducing deficits by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share.