That's right, $10 billion in 2011. Those are the latest budget figures the Obama administration presented to the U.S. EPA on Monday.
The highly anticipated announcement allows the agency to plan, budget and allocate funds to awaiting projects, determining the course of operations over the next year.
The 2011 budget, slightly down from $10.3 billion allocated for 2010, meets the agency's request for $10.02 billion in discretionary budget authority, and represents a sizable increase in funds from 1999 to 2009.
According to the EPA, "This budget heeds the President's call to streamline and find efficiencies in the agency's operations while supporting the seven priority areas EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson outlined to guide EPA's work."
The EPA's 2011 budget by goal includes:
- Goal 1: Clean air and global climate change - 11.9 percent ($ 1.19 billion)
- Goal 2: Clean and safe water - 45.7 percent ($4.58 billion)
- Goal 3: Land preservation and restoration - 17.5 percent ($1.75 billion)
- Goal 4: Healthy communities and ecosystems- 16.7 percent ($1.67 billion)
- Goal 5: Compliance and environmental stewardship - 8.2 percent ($8.2 million)
From these goals, budget highlights include:
1. Cleaning up communities: A reported $1.3 billion will address Superfund sites that may be releasing harmful or toxic substances into the surrounding community. The budget also offers $27 million for the EPA's new "Healthy Communities Initiative," which addresses community water priorities; promotes clean, green and healthy schools; improves air toxic monitoring in at-risk communities and helps ensure policies and spending at the local level to not adversely affect public health or the environment.
2. Improving air quality: The budget includes funds to support state efforts to implement the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which were proposed to strengthen ground-level ozone emission standards for air quality.
3. Building strong state and tribal partnerships: $1.3 billion is included in the budget for state and tribal grants.
4. Taking action on climate change: The budget contains more than $43 million for additional efforts addressing climate change and clean energy.
5. Protecting America's waters: The budget allows funding to broaden clean up efforts for national waterbodies like the Chesapeake Bay and Mississippi River Basin. The budget invests $3.3 billion for the maintenance and improvement of outdated water infrastructure and maintaining wastewater and drinking water.
6. Assuring the safety of chemicals: The budget allots $56 million for chemical assessment to ensure no unreasonable risks are posed by new or existing chemicals.
7. Expanding the conversation on environmentalism and working for environmental justice: The allotment contains significant funds for environmental justice programs, including brownfields investments to under-served and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and funds addressing community water priorities, urban waterways restoration and health and environmental burdens faced by communities highly impacted by pollution.
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