Tag Archives: Clean Water Act

EPA Proposed FY 2015 Budget

The EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy discussed the requested budget for 2015. Below are her remarks, and I bolded many statements regarding what money would be spent on, and what budgets were being cut. There is a very large focus on climate change – climate change and air quality $1.03 billion. Clean water and drinking water – $1.775 billion to lead to the design, construction, and support of sustainable water infrastructure. $1.33 billion to continue to apply the most effective response approaches for cleanups under RCRA, Superfund, Leaking Underground Storage Tank, etc. I also thought this was very interesting, it sounds like the EPA is investing $56 billion in security technology and BI (business intelligence)

“56 billion opportunity, growth, and security initiative. This initiative—split evenly between defense and non-defense funding—shows how additional discretionary investments in FY 2015 can spur economic progress, promote opportunity, and strengthen national security.”

 

 

 

“One important area of emphasis isimproving freedom of information act (FOIA) and records management.”

The most critical issues facing the Agency were identified as, “advance chemical prioritization and predictive toxicology, help communities make sustainable decisions regarding environmental protection and resilience, and inform regional and community level strategies for the use of green infrastructure and other innovative alternative practices.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2014

Testimony of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Before Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Proposed FY 2015 Budget

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today at a hearing to discuss EPA’s proposed FY 2015 budget.

Administrator McCarthy’s remarks:

Chairman Boxer, Ranking Member Vitter, and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed FY 2015 budget. I’m joined by the Agency’s Acting Chief Financial Officer, Maryann Froehlich.

EPA’s budget request of $7.890 billion for the 2015 fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 reflects our ongoing efforts to meet the challenges facing the agency today and into the future. Despite these challenges, we remain dedicated to protecting public health and the environment, and we know we must target staff and resources and find new ways to fulfill our mission. We will focus those resources in a way that will allow EPA to be more effective and efficient.

The FY 2015 budget reflects a strategic approach to our budget planning process, looking toward the future rather than continuing to simply react to tough budget choices with cuts across the Agency. The FY 2015 budget request does this in the following ways:

  • It reflects EPA’s incorporation of new technologies and new regulatory and non-regulatory approaches that can help us maintain our efficiency and effectiveness.
  • It strengthens EPA’s partnership with public health and environmental protection partners in states, tribes and local communities with a focus on aligning our resources, avoiding duplication, and identifying and closing any gaps in the broader environmental enterprise system.
  • It invests our funds and leverages funds of our partners where it makes the most sense and gets the biggest bang for the buck.

Following the framework of priorities laid out in the FY 2014 – 2018 Strategic Plan and working within our budget, we are committed to ensuring the staff we have in program areas and regions make the most sense and will have the most impact.

EPA has already taken steps toward proactive management of our operating budget. Through the VERA/VSIP process, we have begun to accelerate attrition within EPA both at headquarters and the regions toward a ceiling of 15,000 nonrefundable FTE’s.

Our FY 2015 budget relies on a reduced workforce focused on programs, policies, and regulations that matter most to public health and the environment. This is not simply about cutting the workforce to save costs. We are reshaping the workforce and our work to meet current and future challenges. Doing this includes making key investments.

It makes long-term fiscal sense to invest the cost savings achieved — through a smaller workforce and improved use of technology — to work smarter and more effectively. This approach will keep EPA strong, focused on science and the law, and transparent in addressing environmental challenges and the results we have achieved.

This budget will provide the support we need to move forward by targeting real progress in priority areas: communities, climate change and air quality, toxics and chemical safety, and clean water.

Building on current work on the ground in our communities, we are asking for $7.5 million and 64 staff in FY 2015 to work toward efforts that will make a difference in people’s everyday lives and in their communities. Those efforts include providing green infrastructure technical assistance for up to 100 communities that will promote cost-effective approaches to water management.

This budget request furthers our environmental justice efforts. The protections provided by our national environmental laws must be accessible to everyone. We will do more to partner with states, tribes, and local governments and other federal agencies to better coordinate and leverage resources supporting community efforts.

Addressing the threat from a changing climate is one of the greatest challenges of this and future generations. The request for climate change and air quality is $1.03 billion—over $41 million more than fiscal year 2014. And it designates $199.5 million specifically for climate change work.

Building on existing efforts and base budget resources, the Agency has added $10 million and dedicates 24 FTE’s in FY 2015 to support the President’s climate action plan. $2 million is designated for technical assistance for adaptation planning for water utilities at greatest risk from storm surges. Research and development efforts will focus on support tools for at-risk communities and tribes in preparing for the impacts of climate change.

The Agency will focus resources on the development of common sense and achievable greenhouse gas standards for power plants—the single largest source of carbon pollution. The President’s budget provides support for the states to help them meet their obligations under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act with regard to cutting carbon emissions.

This request also supports the President’s interagency methane strategy and the President’s recently announced directive to EPA to develop phase 2 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles. EPA also will be implementing a range of activities in support of the President’s call to cut energy waste in homes, businesses, and factories.

Chemicals and toxic substances are prevalent in our everyday lives. The EPA budget requests almost $673 million to support work to reduce the risk and increase the safety of chemicals and prevent pollution for all Americans and especially children.

We are requesting $23 million and 24 FTE in FY 2015 to support activities under the President’s executive order on chemical safety, as well as Agency efforts on chemical prioritization, air toxics, radon, and volatile organic compounds in drinking water. $5 million in resources for air toxics work will enhance our capabilities to design effective regulations and continue developing the national air toxics assessment.

The nation’s water resources are the lifeblood of our communities. The FY 2015 budget recognizes the long-term benefits of healthy aquatic systems for all aspects of our daily lives.

The Agency is directing $8 million and 10 FTE to advance clean water. Resources are also proposed for the municipal separate storm sewer systems program for technical support to communities that must develop effective stormwater permits for the first time.

We are requesting $1.775 billion for the clean water and drinking water state revolving funds. Although this is a more than a $580 million decrease over FY 2014 levels, federal capitalization of the SRFs totals over $22 billion since FY 2009, if you include the FY 2015 request. The FY 2015 budget seeks to ensure that federal dollars provided through the fund lead to the design, construction, and support of sustainable water infrastructure.

The EPA is looking toward future ways to better serve the American people by employing technology where it can be used more effectively. E-Enterprise is a major joint initiative between EPA and states to modernize our business practices and to increase responsiveness. This effort holds the promise of increased effectiveness and savings for businesses as well as government. The agency is expanding efforts in the second year of the multi-year E-Enterprise business model including focusing people and resources to accelerate development of the E-Manifest system and associated rule-making work. For example, the benefits of implementing the E-Manifest system include annual savings estimated at $75 million for over 160,000 waste handlers. Transitioning from a paper-based system saves time and effort for every person who used to handle that paper.

In addition, EPA is making changes to long-standing business practices such as contracts, grants management, and the regulation development process. One important area of emphasis is improving freedom of information act (FOIA) and records management.

In FY 2015, the Agency is requesting over $1.33 billion to continue to apply the most effective response approaches for cleanups under RCRA, Superfund, Leaking Underground Storage Tank, and other authorities. This strategy will help ensure land is returned to beneficial use in the most effective way. $1.16 billion is requested for Superfund which includes a $43.4 million increase for remedial work and an increase of $9.2 million for emergency response and removal.

In this budget, we hold firm our priority support for state and tribal partners, the primary implementers and front line of environmental programs. Funding for state and tribal assistance grants – or STAG – is once again the largest percentage of the EPA’s budget request and prioritizes funding for state categorical grants.

The FY 2015 budget includes a total of $1.13 billion in categorical grants – a net $76 million increase over FY 2014.
• Within that total is over $96 million for tribal general assistance program grants – a $31 million increase over FY 2014.
• We also included an $18 million increase for pollution control (Section 106),
• There is a $16 million increase for environmental information grants.
• There is a $15 million increase for state and local air quality management in our request.

Science is the foundation of our work at the EPA. And science is supported by the President’s request of $537.3 million. In FY 2015, the EPA is focusing research on the most critical issues facing the Agency.

These include efforts to: advance chemical prioritization and predictive toxicology, help communities make sustainable decisions regarding environmental protection and resilience, and inform regional and community level strategies for the use of green infrastructure and other innovative alternative practices.

The EPA continues to focus on reducing its physical footprint and achieving greater energy efficiency. Since 2006, the EPA has released approximately 428 thousand square feet of space nationwide, resulting in a cumulative annual rent avoidance of over $14.6 million.

The EPA continues to eliminate programs that have served their purpose, accomplished their mission, or are duplicative. The FY 2015 budget eliminates a number of such programs totaling nearly $56 million. These include beaches protection categorical grants, state indoor radon grants, and diesel emissions reductions assistance grants.

Recognizing the importance of the two-year budget agreement congress reached in December, which the President’s budget adheres to, levels are not sufficient to expand opportunity to all Americans or to drive the growth our economy needs.

For that reason, across the federal government, the budget also includes a separate, fully paid for $56 billion opportunity, growth, and security initiative. This initiative—split evenly between defense and non-defense funding—shows how additional discretionary investments in FY 2015 can spur economic progress, promote opportunity, and strengthen national security.
• Within the initiative is $1 billion for a climate resilience fund, through which the budget will invest in research and unlock data to better understand and prepare for impacts of a changing climate. These investments will also fund breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.
• Within the climate resilience fund, EPA will support a nation better prepared for the impacts of climate change—with $10 million for protecting and enhancing coastal wetlands, and $5 million to support urban forest enhancement and protection.

We have made some very difficult choices in this budget. But we need to look realistically at challenges we face in the future and make sure we have the best tools and people in the right places to make the most difference. Our final FY 2015 budget reflects a balanced approach to accomplishing this.

Thank you for the opportunity to touch upon some of the highlights of EPA’s FY 2015 budget request in my testimony today. I look forward to answering your questions.

R069
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2014

Testimony of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Before House Appropriations Committee on Proposed FY 2015 Budget

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy testified today before the House Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee at a hearing to discuss EPA’s proposed FY 2015 budget.

Administrator McCarthy’s testimony:

Chairman Calvert, Ranking Member Moran, and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed FY 2015 budget. I’m joined by the Agency’s Acting Chief Financial Officer, Maryann Froehlich.

EPA’s budget request of $7.890 billion for the 2015 fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 reflects our ongoing efforts to meet the challenges facing the agency today and into the future. Despite these challenges, we remain dedicated to protecting public health and the environment, and we know we must target staff and resources and find new ways to fulfill our mission. We will focus those resources in a way that will allow EPA to be more effective and efficient.

The FY 2015 budget reflects a strategic approach to our budget planning process, looking toward the future rather than continuing to simply react to tough budget choices with cuts across the Agency. The FY 2015 budget request does this in the following ways:

• It reflects EPA’s incorporation of new technologies and new regulatory and non-regulatory approaches that can help us maintain our efficiency and effectiveness.
• It strengthens EPA’s partnership with public health and environmental protection partners in states, tribes and local communities with a focus on aligning our resources, avoiding duplication, and identifying and closing any gaps in the broader environmental enterprise system.
• It invests our funds and leverages funds of our partners where it makes the most sense and gets the biggest bang for the buck.

Following the framework of priorities laid out in the FY 2014 – 2018 Strategic Plan and working within our budget, we are committed to ensuring the staff we have in program areas and regions make the most sense and will have the most impact.

EPA has already taken steps toward proactive management of our operating budget. Through the VERA/VSIP process, we have begun to accelerate attrition within EPA both at headquarters and the regions toward a ceiling of 15,000 nonrefundable FTE’s.

Our FY 2015 budget relies on a reduced workforce focused on programs, policies, and regulations that matter most to public health and the environment. This is not simply about cutting the workforce to save costs. We are reshaping the workforce and our work to meet current and future challenges. Doing this includes making key investments.

It makes long-term fiscal sense to invest the cost savings achieved — through a smaller workforce and improved use of technology — to work smarter and more effectively. This approach will keep EPA strong, focused on science and the law, and transparent in addressing environmental challenges and the results we have achieved.

This budget will provide the support we need to move forward by targeting real progress in priority areas: communities, climate change and air quality, toxics and chemical safety, and clean water.

Building on current work on the ground in our communities, we are asking for $7.5 million and 64 staff in FY 2015 to work toward efforts that will make a difference in people’s everyday lives and in their communities. Those efforts include providing green infrastructure technical assistance for up to 100 communities that will promote cost-effective approaches to water management.

This budget request furthers our environmental justice efforts. The protections provided by our national environmental laws must be accessible to everyone. We will do more to partner with states, tribes, and local governments and other federal agencies to better coordinate and leverage resources supporting community efforts.

Addressing the threat from a changing climate is one of the greatest challenges of this and future generations. The request for climate change and air quality is $1.03 billion—over $41 million more than fiscal year 2014. And it designates $199.5 million specifically for climate change work.

Building on existing efforts and base budget resources, the Agency has added $10 million and dedicates 24 FTE’s in FY 2015 to support the President’s climate action plan. $2 million is designated for technical assistance for adaptation planning for water utilities at greatest risk from storm surges. Research and development efforts will focus on support tools for at-risk communities and tribes in preparing for the impacts of climate change.

The Agency will focus resources on the development of common sense and achievable greenhouse gas standards for power plants—the single largest source of carbon pollution. The President’s budget provides support for the states to help them meet their obligations under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act with regard to cutting carbon emissions.

This request also supports the President’s interagency methane strategy and the President’s recently announced directive to EPA to develop phase 2 fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for heavy-duty vehicles. EPA also will be implementing a range of activities in support of the President’s call to cut energy waste in homes, businesses, and factories.

Chemicals and toxic substances are prevalent in our everyday lives. The EPA budget requests almost $673 million to support work to reduce the risk and increase the safety of chemicals and prevent pollution for all Americans and especially children.

We are requesting $23 million and 24 FTE in FY 2015 to support activities under the President’s executive order on chemical safety, as well as Agency efforts on chemical prioritization, air toxics, radon, and volatile organic compounds in drinking water. $5 million in resources for air toxics work will enhance our capabilities to design effective regulations and continue developing the national air toxics assessment.

The nation’s water resources are the lifeblood of our communities. The FY 2015 budget recognizes the long-term benefits of healthy aquatic systems for all aspects of our daily lives.

The Agency is directing $8 million and 10 FTE to advance clean water. Resources are also proposed for the municipal separate storm sewer systems program for technical support to communities that must develop effective stormwater permits for the first time.

We are requesting $1.775 billion for the clean water and drinking water state revolving funds. Although this is a more than a $580 million decrease over FY 2014 levels, federal capitalization of the SRFs totals over $22 billion since FY 2009, if you include the FY 2015 request. The FY 2015 budget seeks to ensure that federal dollars provided through the fund lead to the design, construction, and support of sustainable water infrastructure.

The EPA is looking toward future ways to better serve the American people by employing technology where it can be used more effectively. E-Enterprise is a major joint initiative between EPA and states to modernize our business practices and to increase responsiveness. This effort holds the promise of increased effectiveness and savings for businesses as well as government. The agency is expanding efforts in the second year of the multi-year E-Enterprise business model including focusing people and resources to accelerate development of the E-Manifest system and associated rule-making work. For example, the benefits of implementing the E-Manifest system include annual savings estimated at $75 million for over 160,000 waste handlers. Transitioning from a paper-based system saves time and effort for every person who used to handle that paper.

In addition, EPA is making changes to long-standing business practices such as contracts, grants management, and the regulation development process. One important area of emphasis is improving freedom of information act (FOIA) and records management.

In FY 2015, the Agency is requesting over $1.33 billion to continue to apply the most effective response approaches for cleanups under RCRA, Superfund, Leaking Underground Storage Tank, and other authorities. This strategy will help ensure land is returned to beneficial use in the most effective way. $1.16 billion is requested for Superfund which includes a $43.4 million increase for remedial work and an increase of $9.2 million for emergency response and removal.

In this budget, we hold firm our priority support for state and tribal partners, the primary implementers and front line of environmental programs. Funding for state and tribal assistance grants – or STAG – is once again the largest percentage of the EPA’s budget request and prioritizes funding for state categorical grants.

The FY 2015 budget includes a total of $1.13 billion in categorical grants – a net $76 million increase over FY 2014.
• Within that total is over $96 million for tribal general assistance program grants – a $31 million increase over FY 2014.
• We also included an $18 million increase for pollution control (Section 106),
• There is a $16 million increase for environmental information grants.
• There is a $15 million increase for state and local air quality management in our request.

Science is the foundation of our work at the EPA. And science is supported by the President’s request of $537.3 million. In FY 2015, the EPA is focusing research on the most critical issues facing the Agency.

These include efforts to: advance chemical prioritization and predictive toxicology, help communities make sustainable decisions regarding environmental protection and resilience, and inform regional and community level strategies for the use of green infrastructure and other innovative alternative practices.

The EPA continues to focus on reducing its physical footprint and achieving greater energy efficiency. Since 2006, the EPA has released approximately 428 thousand square feet of space nationwide, resulting in a cumulative annual rent avoidance of over $14.6 million.

The EPA continues to eliminate programs that have served their purpose, accomplished their mission, or are duplicative. The FY 2015 budget eliminates a number of such programs totaling nearly $56 million. These include beaches protection categorical grants, state indoor radon grants, and diesel emissions reductions assistance grants.

Recognizing the importance of the two-year budget agreement congress reached in December, which the President’s budget adheres to, levels are not sufficient to expand opportunity to all Americans or to drive the growth our economy needs.

For that reason, across the federal government, the budget also includes a separate, fully paid for $56 billion opportunity, growth, and security initiative. This initiative—split evenly between defense and non-defense funding—shows how additional discretionary investments in FY 2015 can spur economic progress, promote opportunity, and strengthen national security.
• Within the initiative is $1 billion for a climate resilience fund, through which the budget will invest in research and unlock data to better understand and prepare for impacts of a changing climate. These investments will also fund breakthrough technologies and resilient infrastructure.
• Within the climate resilience fund, EPA will support a nation better prepared for the impacts of climate change—with $10 million for protecting and enhancing coastal wetlands, and $5 million to support urban forest enhancement and protection.

We have made some very difficult choices in this budget. But we need to look realistically at challenges we face in the future and make sure we have the best tools and people in the right places to make the most difference. Our final FY 2015 budget reflects a balanced approach to accomplishing this.

Thank you for the opportunity to touch upon some of the highlights of EPA’s FY 2015 budget request in my testimony today. I look forward to answering your questions.

R072

 

24th National Tanks Conference & Expo

24th National Tanks Conference & Expo

Come see TAIT in booth #102! We will be next to our training partner UST Training and are happy to discuss training and our many programmatic tank services such as testing and inspections, as well as the full gamete from design and installation, repairs and upgrades through removals and remediation.

The Annual National Tanks Conference and Exposition is produced by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks, the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials, and the host state, this year it’s Colorado.

The purpose of this event is to provide learning and networking opportunities for federal, state, and tribal colleagues in the underground storage community. The focus is on progress, priorities, and plans for the pursuit of a common goal–to find new and better ways to work together to protect human health and the environment from tank releases.

TAIT enjoys participating in the shows and look forward to them each year. We are giving out an Apple prize again this year. See last year’s winner below.  Come visit us in Booth #102! If you’d like to schedule a time to meet, contact Melanie Nelson.

iPod Winner Chris Plassmeyer

iPod Winner Chris Plassmeyer

President’s budget reinforces our firm commitment to keeping American communities clean and healthy

U.S. EPA: EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, Testimony Before the Senate Appropriations Committee

April 24, 2013

 

EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe, Testimony Before the Senate Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON

— As prepared for delivery.  

 

Chairman Reed, Ranking Member Murkowski , and members of the Committee, thank you once again for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget. I’m joined by the Agency’s Acting Chief Financial Officer, Maryann Froehlich. 

 

The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget demonstrates that we can make critical investments to strengthen the middle class, create jobs, and grow the economy while continuing to cut the deficit in a balanced way. The Budget also incorporates the President’s compromise offer to House Speaker Boehner to achieve another $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction in a balance way. By including this compromise proposal in the Budget, the President is demonstrating his willingness to make tough choices. EPA’s budget request of $8.153 billion for the 2014 fiscal year starting October 1, 2013 reflects our ongoing efforts to change the way EPA does business –to invest in more efficient ways for the Agency to operate, to further reduce costs wherever possible all while we preserve and enhance our ability to carry out the Agency’s core mission to protect human health and the environment.

The President’s budget reinforces our firm commitment to keeping American communities clean and healthy, while also taking into consideration the difficult fiscal situation and the declining resources of state, local and tribal programs.

EPA’s requested budget will allow us to continue making progress toward cleaner air, addressing climate change, protecting the nation’s waters, supporting sustainable water infrastructure and protecting lands and assuring the safety of chemicals.

It is the product of long discussions and difficult choices. In the end, we believe this budget will enable us to work toward the Agency’s goals as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Let me run through a few highlights from the President’s FY 2014 budget request.

Despite the fiscal challenges we face, supporting our state and tribal partners, the primary implementers of environmental programs, remains a priority of the EPA. Funding for states and tribes through the State and Tribal Assistance Grants – or STAG – account is once again the largest percentage of the EPA’s budget request – at nearly 40 percent in FY 2014. The FY 2014 budget includes a total of $1.14 billion in categorical grants.

We have requested a $60 million investment in an agency-wide initiative to develop new tools and expand systems designed to reduce the regulatory reporting burden on regulated entities, and provide EPA, states, and the public with easier access to environmental data for compliance monitoring and other purposes. This new initiative is fully paid for, so does not add a single dime to the deficit.

This project – what we call “E-Enterprise” – would enable businesses to conduct environmental business transactions with regulators electronically through a single interactive portal, similar to online banking. The paperwork and regulatory reporting burden would be reduced thanks to more efficient collection, reporting, and use of data, in addition to regulatory revisions to eliminate redundant or obsolete information requests. The initiative will encourage greater transparency and compliance.

The result will be widespread savings – for industry and for the states and tribes. For example, E-Enterprise builds on efforts such as the e-manifest system which is projected to reduce reporting costs for regulated businesses by up to a range of $77 – $126 million annually, because it replaces the millions of paper manifests for hazardous waste shipments with a modern tracking and reporting system.

The FY 2014 request also includes $176.5 million to support the agency’s work with partners and stakeholders to address greenhouse gas emissions and its impacts. These funds will help reduce emissions – both domestically and internationally – through careful, cost-effective rulemaking and voluntary programs that focus on the largest entities and encourage businesses and consumers to limit unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of this funding will support existing, successful approaches like ENERGY STAR, the Global Methane Initiative, the GHG Reporting Rule, and state and local technical assistance and partnership programs, such as SmartWay. $20 million will go towards research, so we can better understand the impacts of climate change on human health and vulnerable ecosystems. Our requested budget contains $175 million to support our Clean Air Act-mandated work to develop, implement and review air quality standards and guidance. This funding will also allow EPA to enhance our support to our state, local and Tribal partners to implement the programs.

Nutrient pollution is one of the nation’s most widespread and challenging environmental problems. To assist in tackling this challenge, EPA is requesting an increase of $15 million in Clean Water Act Section 106 Water Pollution Control grant funding to support states, interstate agencies and tribes that commit to strengthening their nutrient management efforts.

Ensuring that federal dollars provided through the State Revolving Funds support effective and efficient system-wide planning remains a priority for EPA. The FY 2014 budget request includes $1.1 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $817 million for the Drinking WaterSRF. This money will also assist EPA efforts to expand and institutionalize the use of up-front planning that considers a full range of infrastructure alternatives like “green” infrastructure, so that the right investments are made at the right time, and at the lowest life-cycle cost. This budget request will allow the SRFs to finance approximately $6 billion in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects annually.

In FY 2014, the agency is requesting over $1.34 billion for its land cleanup programs to continue to apply the most effective approaches to preserve and restore our country’s land. This money will go towards developing and implementing prevention programs, improving response capabilities, and maximizing the effectiveness of response and cleanup actions. The agency is also renewing its request to reinstate the Superfund tax in order to provide a stable, dedicated source of revenue for the Superfund Trust Fund and to restore the historic nexus that parties who benefit from the manufacture or sale of substances that commonly contaminate hazardous waste sites should bear the cost of cleanup when viable potentially responsible parties cannot be identified.

Ensuring the safety of new or existing chemicals in commerce to protect the American people is another top priority. Chemicals are used in the production of everything from our homes and cars to the cell phones we carry and the food we eat. The $686.2 million requested in FY 2014 will allow EPA to continue managing the potential risks of new chemicals entering commerce, without impacting progress in assessing and ensuring the safety of existing chemicals. These resources encompass all efforts across the agency associated specifically with ensuring chemical safety and pollution prevention, including research and enforcement.

EPA’s research budget provides $554 million to support critical research in key areas, ranging from chemical safety to water sustainability to climate and energy to human health. This research will help advance the Administration’s commitment to healthy communities and a clean energy future.

Finally, let me discuss some steps we are taking to ensure taxpayer dollars are going as far as they possibly can.

The budget includes $54 million in savings by eliminating several EPA programs that have either completed their goals or can be implemented through other federal or state efforts. Adding to these savings and demonstrating a willingness to make tough choices, more than 20 EPA programs, are being reduced by 10 percent or more in FY 2014.

EPA has also been laying the groundwork to ensure the best use of human resources, which will continue in FY 2014. We will continue to analyze our workforce needs to achieve the Agency’s mission effectively and efficiently. This is reflected in our FTE request for FY 2014, which is our lowest in 20 years.

We also continue to look for opportunities to consolidate physical space and reduce operating costs at our facilities nationwide. On-going improvements in operating efficiency, combined with the use of advanced technologies and energy sources, have reduced energy utilization and saved nearly $6 million annually.

In FY 2014, we are requesting $17 million in the Building &Facilities appropriation to accelerate space consolidation efforts, which will result in long-term savings in rent and operating costs. By consolidating space, we have, since 2006 released approximately 417 thousand square feet of space at headquarters and facilities nationwide, resulting in a cumulative annual rent avoidance of over $14.2 million.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. While my testimony reflects only some of the highlights of EPA’s budget request, I look forward answering your questions.

R073 

$741,000 Clean Water Act Penalty

The EPA just Released: Homebuilder to Pay $741,000 Clean Water Act Penalty and Implement Company-Wide Stormwater Controls

This Settlement was enacted to prevent millions of pounds of sediment and polluted stormwater runoff from entering U.S. waterways each year.

Highlights from the above linked article: “[The affected company] will also invest in a company-wide stormwater compliance program to improve employee training and increase management oversight at all current and future residential construction sites across the nation. The company is required to inspect its current and future construction sites routinely to minimize stormwater runoff from sites. Polluted stormwater runoff and sediment from construction sites can flow directly into the nearest waterway, affecting drinking water quality and damaging valuable aquatic habitats.

Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance and Assurance stated, “Today’s settlement will improve oversight of stormwater runoff at construction sites across the country and protect America’s waters.”

Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice said, “The settlement requires [them] to implement system-wide management controls and training that will help prevent polluted stormwater runoff from contaminating rivers, lakes and sources of drinking water.”

EPA estimates the settlement will prevent millions of pounds of sediment from entering U.S. waterways every year, including sediment that would otherwise enter the Chesapeake Bay, North America’s largest and most biologically diverse estuary. The bay and its tidal tributaries are threatened by pollution from a variety of sources and are overburdened with nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment that can be carried by stormwater.

The Clean Water Act requires permits for the discharge of stormwater runoff.

This settlement is the latest in a series of enforcement actions to address stormwater violations from residential construction sites around the country. More information about EPA’s stormwater enforcement can be found here.”

How will this settlement affect the industry? How may it affect your company? Often, a large settlement like this paid by one company will cause a ripple affect among other companies. Other manufacturing plants or construction companies may now be reconsidering their stormwater compliance programs. Do you know what your company’s training and inspection plan is?

Tait has certified stormwater practitioners and we can assist you with your stormwater needs. Contact us today!