[Pharmwaste] EPA News Release (HQ): Statement of Lisa P. Jackson Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Massoomi, Fred Fred.Massoomi at nmhs.org
Tue Feb 23 11:21:30 EST 2010


 

CONTACT: 
EPA Press Office 
press at epa.gov 
202-564-4355 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
February 23, 2010 

Statement of Lisa P. Jackson Administrator, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency 
Legislative Hearing on EPA's 2011 Budget Proposal 
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works 

February 23, 2010 

Chairman Boxer and Members of the Committee, thank you for the
opportunity to appear before you to discuss the Environmental Protection
Agency's proposed budget.  Let me first say that I am particularly proud
of the Fiscal Year 2011 budget as it reflects President Obama's
continuing commitment to providing the environmental protection that
keeps our communities healthy and clean and his commitment to fiscal
responsibility.  Families across America are tightening their budgets;
the President has directed us to do the same. 

Environmentalism is a conversation that we all must have because it is
about protecting people in the places they live, work and raise
families.  In FY 2011, the Agency is focused on expanding the
conversation to include new stakeholders and involve communities in more
direct ways.  Over the years, EPA has worked to prevent pollution at the
source and promoted the principles of responsible environmental
stewardship, sustainability, and innovation.  EPA works to improve and
encourage sustainable practices and help businesses and communities move
beyond compliance to become partners in protecting natural resources,
managing materials more wisely, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and
improving the environment and public health.  

Today's challenges require renewed and refocused efforts to address old
pollution and prevent new pollution.  The $10 billion proposed for EPA
in the FY 2011 President's budget will support key priorities during
this time of fiscal challenges. These themes 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;
building strong state and tribal partnerships; and maintaining a strong
science foundation. 

These themes are aligned with a government-wide effort to identify
near-term high priority performance goals.  For EPA, such goals include
reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions, improving water quality, and
delivering improved environmental health and protection to our
communities.  EPA will work toward meeting these goals over the next 18
to 24 months. 

Madam Chairman and Members of the Committee let me touch on some of the
highlights of this budget, both the hard choices and the targeted
investments that will protect our health and the environment, advance
creative programs and innovative solutions, and help build a new
foundation for our prosperity.     

Taking Action on Climate Change 

EPA continues to take meaningful, common sense steps to address climate
change.  Making the right choices now will allow the agency to improve
health, drive technology innovation, and protect the environment; all
without placing an undue burden on the nation's economy.  The budget
includes a requested increase of more than $43 million for additional
regulatory efforts aimed at taking action on climate change.  It
includes $25 million for state grants focused on developing technical
capacity to address greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. It
also includes $13.5 million in funding for implementing new emission
standards that will reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from mobile
sources such as passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty
passenger vehicles, developing potential standards for large
transportation sources such as locomotives and aircraft engines, and
analyzing the potential need for standards under petitions relating to
major stationary sources - all through means that are flexible and
manageable for business.  

A request of $21 million will support continued implementation of the
Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to ensure the collection of high quality
data.  This budget also requests an additional $3.1 million to promote
work on current and future carbon capture and sequestration projects.  

Improving Air Quality 

To improve air quality we'll continue our support of enhanced monitoring
and enforcement efforts already underway.  We are also requesting $60
million for state grants to address new and expanded National Ambient
Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) as well as air monitoring requirements.
Through the Healthy Communities Initiative we will provide $6 million to
improve air toxics monitoring capabilities and address compliance and
enforcement issues in communities.  I will have more to say both about
the Healthy Communities Initiative and our efforts to improve air
quality momentarily. 

Assuring the Safety of Chemicals 

Assuring the safety of chemicals in our products, our environment and
our bodies is of utmost concern, as is the need to make significant and
long overdue progress in achieving this goal.   Last year, I announced
principles for modernizing the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  At
the end of 2009, we released our first ever chemical action plans for
four groups of substances, and more plans are in the pipeline for 2010.
Using our streamlined process for Integrated Risk Information System
assessments, we will continue strong progress toward rigorous, peer
reviewed health assessments.  Additionally, we will continue focus on
high-profile IRIS assessments on dioxins, arsenic, formaldehyde,
trichloroethylene (TCE) and other substances of concern. 

We are proposing $56 million for chemical assessment and risk review,
including continued development of chemical management plans, to ensure
that no unreasonable risks are posed by new or existing chemicals.
Further, this budget invests $29 million in the continuing effort to
eliminate childhood lead poisoning.  We will implement the Renovation,
Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule to address lead hazards created by
renovation, repair and painting activities in homes and child occupied
facilities with lead based paint.  In FY 2011, $6 million would support
national efforts to mitigate exposure to high risk legacy chemicals,
such as mercury and asbestos. 

Cleaning Up Our Communities 

Among our highest priorities in this budget are investments in new and
innovative strategies for cleaning up communities, especially to protect
sensitive populations, such as children, the elderly, and individuals
with chronic diseases.  We will continue to focus on making safer,
healthier communities.  To clean up our communities, we're proposing
investments that will get dangerous pollution out, and put good jobs
back in. 

This budget proposes $215 million for Brownfields, an increase of $42
million to support planning, cleanup, job training and redevelopment of
Brownfields properties, especially in underserved and disadvantaged
communities.  EPA encourages community development by providing funds to
support community involvement and is adding area wide planning efforts
to enhance the positive impacts associated with the assessment and
cleanup of Brownfields sites.  Through area wide planning, particularly
by focusing on lower income communities suffering from economic
disinvestment, Brownfield properties can be redeveloped to help meet the
needs for jobs, housing, and infrastructure investments that would help
rebuild and revitalize these communities, as well as identify
opportunities to leverage additional public and private investment.
We'll also provide funding for assessment and cleanup of underground
storage tanks and other petroleum contamination on Brownfields sites.  
  
In addition, we're proposing $1.3 billion for Superfund cleanup efforts
across the country.  We will continue to respond to emergencies, clean
up the nation's most contaminated hazardous waste sites, and maximize
the participation of liable and viable parties in performing and paying
for cleanups.   EPA will initiate a multiyear effort to integrate and
leverage our land cleanup authorities to address a greater number of
contaminated sites, accelerate cleanups, and put sites back into
productive use while protecting human health and the environment.  The
new Integrated Cleanup Initiative represents EPA's commitment to bring
more accountability, transparency and progress to contaminated site
cleanups.    

This budget also requests $27 million for a Healthy Communities
Initiative which covers clean, green, healthy schools; community water
priorities; sustainability and the air toxics monitoring in at risk
communities I mentioned earlier.  Six million dollars is requested for
the Clean, Green, and Healthy Schools Initiative to support states and
communities in promoting healthier school environments, to broaden the
implementation of EPA's existing school environmental health programs
including asthma, indoor air quality, chemical clean out, green
practices, enhanced use of Integrated Pest Management, and safe handling
of PCB-containing caulk.  The Agency will work in partnership with the
Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services
to accomplish this initiative.  

The Healthy Communities Initiative also includes an increase of $5
million for and Smart Growth work, including the Interagency Partnership
for Sustainable Communities with the Departments of Transportation and
Housing and Urban Development.  The Smart Growth program works with
federal partners and stakeholders to minimize the environmental impacts
of development.     

These modest investments will make real, measurable, improvements in a
small number of pilot communities.  In addition, the strategies that
will be developed could be used in communities across the nation. 

Protecting America's Waters 

Protecting America's waters is a top priority and EPA has an ambitious
vision for the nation's waters in the years ahead.  Water quality has
tremendous impacts on quality of life, on economic potential, and on
human and environmental health. In FY 2011, EPA continues its commitment
to upgrading drinking water and wastewater infrastructure with a
substantial investment of $2 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving
fund and $1.3 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.  EPA,
the states, and community water systems will build on past successes
while working toward the FY 2011 goal of assuring that 91 percent of the
population served by community water systems receives drinking water
that meets all applicable health based standards. 

EPA's partnership investments will allow States and Tribes to initiate
approximately 800 clean water and 500 drinking water projects across
America, representing a major federal commitment to water infrastructure
investment.  These investments send a clear message to American
taxpayers that our water infrastructure is a public health and
environmental priority. 

The FY 2011 budget request supports national ecosystem restoration
efforts; $300 million is requested for the Great Lakes, the largest
freshwater system in the world. This multiagency restoration effort
represents the federal government's commitment to significantly advance
Great Lakes protection, with an investment of over $775 million over two
years. The focus is on addressing critical environmental issues such as
contaminated sediments and toxics, nonpoint source pollution, habitat
degradation and loss, and invasive species, including Asian carp. 

We're requesting $63 million for the Chesapeake Bay program including
increased funding to implement President Obama's Chesapeake Bay
Executive Order.  We are accelerating implementation of pollution
reduction and aquatic habitat restoration efforts to ensure that water
quality objectives are achieved as soon as possible.  A centerpiece of
EPA's FY 2011 Chesapeake Bay activity is the implementation of the
nation's largest and most complex Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for
the entire Bay watershed.  The TMDL will involve interstate waters and
the effects on water quality from the cumulative impact of more than 17
million people, 88,000 farms, 483 significant treatment plants,
thousands of smaller facilities, and many other sources in the 64,000
square mile watershed 

In addition, the budget request includes $17 million for the Mississippi
River Basin.  EPA will work with the Department of Agriculture and
states to target nonpoint source reduction practices to reduce nutrient
loadings. EPA will also work with other Federal partners to target two
high priority watersheds in the Mississippi River Basin to demonstrate
how effective nutrient strategies and enhanced partnerships can address
excessive nutrient loadings that contribute to water quality impairments
in the basin and, ultimately, to the hypoxic conditions in the Gulf of
Mexico.    

The budget also proposes $10 million for green infrastructure research,
more than doubling research that offers the potential to help us
transition to more sustainable water infrastructure systems.  

Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for
Environmental Justice 

We have begun a new era of outreach and protection for communities
historically underrepresented in environmental decision making.  We are
building strong working relationships with tribes, communities of color,
economically distressed cities and towns, young people and others, but
this is just a start.  We must include environmental justice principles
in all of our decisions.  This is an area that calls for innovation and
bold thinking, and I am challenging all of our employees to bring vision
and creativity to our programs.  The protection of vulnerable
subpopulations is a top priority, especially with regard to children.
Our revitalized Children's Health Office is bringing a new energy to
safeguarding children through all of our enforcement efforts.  We will
ensure that children's health protection continues to guide our path
forward. The increased Brownfields investments I mentioned will target
underserved and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods - places where
environmental cleanups and new jobs are 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. 

Furthermore, the FY 2011 President's Budget includes approximately $615
million for EPA's enforcement and compliance assurance program.  This
request reflects the Administration's strong commitment to vigorous
enforcement of our nation's environmental laws and ensures that EPA will
have the resources necessary to maintain a robust and effective criminal
and civil enforcement program and pursue violations that threaten
vulnerable communities. 

Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships 

Another hallmark of this budget is strengthening our state and tribal
partnerships. The budget requests $1.3 billion in categorical grants for
state and tribal efforts.  State and local governments are working
diligently to implement new and expanded requirements under the Clean
Air Act and Clean Water Act.  New and expanded requirements include
implementation of updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards
(NAAQS), for the first time addressing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions,
and addressing growing water quality issues, such as nutrient pollution.
This increase includes the $25 million for greenhouse gas permitting
activities already mentioned, as well as increases of $45 million for
core work under air quality management grants and $15 million for air
monitors, all of which I mentioned previously.  

We are also requesting $274 million, a $45 million increase over 2010,
to help states enhance their water quality programs.  New funding will
strengthen the base state, interstate and tribal programs, address new
regulatory requirements, and support expanded water monitoring and
enforcement efforts. 

The request also includes increased support for our Tribal partners.  In
order to help tribes move beyond capacity building to implementation of
their environmental programs, $30 million is budgeted for a new
competitive Tribal Multimedia Implementation grant program. These grants
are tailored to address an individual tribe's most serious environmental
needs through the implementation of Federal environmental programs, and
will build upon the environmental capacity developed under the Tribal
General Assistance Program (GAP).    To further enhance tribal capacity,
this budget also includes an additional $9 million for GAP grants for a
total of $71 million.  GAP grants develop capacity to operate an
environmental program, and support a basic environmental office or
circuit rider that can alert the tribe and EPA to serious conditions
that pose immediate public health and ecological threats.  

Maintaining a Strong Science Foundation 

In FY 2011, the range of research programs and initiatives will continue
the work of better understanding the scientific basis of our
environmental and human health problems   We are requesting a science
and technology budget of $847 million to enhance - among other things -
research on endocrine disrupting chemicals, green infrastructure, air
quality monitoring, e-waste and e-design, and to study of the effects of
hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. It's important to highlight that
most of the scientific research increase will support additional Science
to Achieve Results (STAR) grants and fellowships to make progress on
these research priorities and leverage the expertise of the academic
research community.  The $26 million increase for STAR includes $6
million for STAR fellowships in support of the President's priority for
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) investments.   This
reflects a near doubling of the STAR fellowships program.  This budget
also supports the study of computational toxicology, and other priority
research efforts with a focus on advancing the design of sustainable
solutions for reducing risks associated with environmentally hazardous
substances. 

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 again for
inviting me to testify today and I look forward to answering your
questions. 






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