Home »

Industry News and Articles

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


March 26, 2014

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

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.

Building Energy Disclosure Laws Push Companies to Hire News
"Cluster Approach" to Cleanup May Launch Site ReuseNews
20-acre Reading brownfield to be cleaned, redevelopedArticles
2006 Hot Button Issues in Environmental Due DiligenceArticles
AAI: All A Matter of Perspective?Articles
Administrative Order Not Sufficient for Contribution ClaimArticles
All Appropriate Rule Out for Public CommentArticles
Another Court Strikes Down a Superfund Contribution CaseArticles
Arctic Undergoing Rapid Ice Melt That Could Speed Global Warming: StudyArticles
Asarco Deal Highlights Benefits of Liability Transfer StrategyArticles
Ash Pond Closures Update - October 2016News
ASTM Addresses Fundamental Conflict over Vapor IntrusionArticles
Bankruptcy Cases Dismissed After Court Finds 'Bad Faith' Articles
Bankruptcy Cases Dismissed After Court Finds 'Bad Faith'News
BFPP Affiliation LanguageNews
BNA Interview with Jeff TelegoArticles
BNA to Co-Sponsor ConferenceArticles
Brownfield Partners and EnviroFinance Group Join Forces to Boost Distressed Asset Redevelopment Across the United StatesNews
Brownfield Partners and EnviroFinance Group Join Forces to Boost Distressed Asset Redevelopment Across the United States News
Brownfields: Progress Made, But Further Actions NeededArticles
Buying Distressed Assets out of BankruptcyArticles
Cabot Corporation Agrees to Spend Over $84 Million to Control Harmful Air Pollution at Texas, Louisiana FacilitiesArticles
Case LawArticles
Case Law – Hydraulic FrackingArticles
CDC Acquires 425-Acre Distressed Steel Mill and Plans RedevelopmentNews
CDC Purchases AEP Power Plant, ELT Assumes Environmental LiabilitiesNews
CDC Reaches Major Milestone in the Reclamation of St. Louis QuarryArticles
CERCLA's BFPP Protections in QuestionArticles
Changes to Michigan’s Environmental Cleanup Program Coming Soon Articles
Changes to Michigan’s Environmental Cleanup Program Coming SoonNews
City & County of Denver and Adams County AgreeArticles
Claims Against Railroads Survive Arranger Liability RuleArticles
Commercial Development Company, Inc. Acquires 725-Acre Coal-Fired Power Plant, Prepares Site for Potential Development as Indiana’s Fourth PortNews
Commercial Development Company, Inc. Purchases 108-Acre Heavy-Industrial Waterfront Site in Antioch, CA for RedevelopmentNews
Commercial Development Company, Inc. Purchases 468-Acre Retired Coal-Fired Power Plant from AEP, Assumes Environmental Liabilities, Plans Demolition and RedevelopmentNews
Consultant Says Market Remains UncertainArticles
Contamination Not Required for Damage AwardArticles
Court Affirms Judgment, Orders $3.1 Million PaymentArticles
Court Affirms Judgment, Orders $3.1 Million PaymentNews
Court Directed to Reconsider If Aviall May Recover Its CostsArticles
Court Orders Jackson to Issue Final Air Permit, Likely Bypassing EAB
Court Reverses Revocation of NFA Letter Articles
Court Rules on 3 Year Time Period for CERCLA Contribution ActionsArticles
Credit Crisis, Distressed Market Impacting Brownfield Sites, Redevelopment Articles
Currently Being Updated...Articles
Death of Green Card Program Could Halt Brownfields ProjectsArticles
Deterring Citizen Suits: Remedies for Unsubstantiated ClaimsArticles
Developments EPA Lists Major Industries As Targets For First-Time Cleanup GuaranteesArticles
Dioxin Soil Cleanup StandardsArticles
DTE Energy Sells Coal Fired Power Plant to CDC/ELTArticles
DTE Energy sells Michigan power plant to Commercial Development Company, Inc.Articles
Due Diligence in the Era of Climate ChangeArticles
Due Diligence Standards-EPA All Appropriate InquiryArticles
EBA Media Release for June Meeting 20th Anniversary Articles
ELT Acquires 1,000,000 Square Foot GM Facility
ELT and Chemtura Close Transaction
ELT and Chrysler Close TransactionNews
Emerging Best Practice for Underwriting Energy Efficiency Loans - WebinarArticles
Emerging Best Practice for Underwriting Energy Efficiency Loans - WhitepaperArticles
Energy Disclosure Laws – A Nationwide Trend In TransparencyNews
EnviroFinance Group Joint Venture to Develope 3mW Solar Power Plant on Closed LandfillNews
Environmental Due Diligence Guide ReportArticles
Environmental Liability Transfer & Chemtura Close Transaction
Environmental Site Assessment Standards Revised by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)InternationalArticles
EPA Administrator Signs Proposed Rule Setting Standards for Site AssessmentsArticles
EPA Announces Cities with the Most Energy Star Buildings in the USArticles
EPA Announces Novel Superfund AgreementArticles
EPA Announces Schedule to Develop Natural Gas Wastewater Standards
EPA Announces U.S. Organizations Using the Most Green PowerArticles
EPA Announces Winner of Annual Energy Star National Building CompetitionArticles
EPA Disapproves Air Permitting Exemption Program in Texas Articles
EPA Embracing Green Cleanups, Standard ForthcomingArticles
EPA Embracing Superfund Policy to Expedite Site CleanupsArticles
EPA Faces Industry Pressure On Brownfields Rule On Eve Of ReleaseArticles
EPA Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements for Petroleum and Natural Gas IndustryNews
EPA Issues Ready-for-Reuse GuidanceArticles
EPA Issues Rule to Reduce Water Pollution from Construction Sites News
EPA Issues Updated, Achievable Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Natural GasNews
EPA Lists Major Industries as Targets for First-Time Cleanup GuaranteesArticles
EPA Moves to Ease Groundwater Cleanup Policy Articles
EPA Plans Further Vapor Intrusion Revisions Amid New CriticismArticles
EPA Plans on Stepping Up Work on Vapor Intrusion Plan Articles
EPA Proposes Rule to Modernize Clean Water Act ReportingArticles
EPA Proposes to Keep Greenhouse Gas Permitting Requirements Focused on Largest Emitters News
EPA Proposes to Reduce Toxic Pollutants Discharged into Waterways by Power PlantsArticles
EPA Proposes to Replace and Reduce Harmful Greenhouse GasesArticles
EPA Pushes Back Final UST Regulation Articles
EPA RCRA Goals Require CreativityArticles
EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment on Trichloroethylene (TCE) Articles
EPA Releases New Policy Statement on Climate Change AdaptationArticles
EPA Report Shows Impact of Changing Climate on Americans’ Health and EnvironmentArticles
EPA Revises Consent Orders in Response to AviallArticles
EPA Rule Increases Protection from Lead-Paint Poisoning Articles
EPA Solicits Public Input on Using Vapor Intrusion Threats as Criteria for Superfund Sites News
EPA to Work with Ports to Improve Environmental Performance / Clean diesel grants and new ports initiative will advance sustainable technologiesArticles
EPA Will Review Cleanup Program PoliciesArticles
EPA's Integrated Cleanup Initiative Implementation Plan ProposedArticles
EPA, California OK Agreements To Waive City's LiabilityArticles
EPA, DOE to Study Potential for Renewable Energy Possibilities on West Haymarket Brownfield Site in Lincoln, Neb.News
EPA: Greenhouse Gases Threaten Public Health and the Environment Articles
ERRA Seminar: Environmental Insurance 101Articles
Fannie Mae Releases 1st PNA Guidance in Over 20 YearsArticles
Fed Reg Development - EPA Revisions to PCB Building Waste Rules Articles
Fed Reg Dev - EPA Relaxes Builders' Stormwater Permit News
Fed Reg Dev - EPA Seeking Comment On Re-classifying PCB-Contaminated Building Materials Slated For Disposal News
Fed Reg Dev Stormwater Violations at Concrete Ready-Mix Plants, Enforcement Nets More than $4 MillionArticles
Fed Reg Developments Articles
Fed Reg Drilling Final Rules on Drilling Emissions Articles
Federal Regulatory Developments – EPA on StormwaterNews
Federal Task Force Sends Recommendations to President on Fostering Clean Coal TechnologyArticles
Flawed Phase 1 CREC Definition Poses Challenges to Property Owners and LendersArticles
GE Discloses PCB-Related Expenses Under Shareholder PressureArticles
Georgia Power to close ash lagoons sooner, could cost $2 billionNews
Guardian Trust is Now OperationalArticles
Honeywell Representative to Speak at Deal Making & Redevelopments!Articles
Insurance against Extreme Events: Pairing Short-Term Incentives with Long-Term StrategiesArticles
Kelo Decision-Economic Development Can Be Public UseArticles
Kingdom Tower- Langan International and the World's Tallest Tower
Lack of Vapor Intrusion Guidance Muddies Issues; Effect on Redevelopment UncertainArticles
Law Provides No Exception for "Almost Innocent" OwnerArticles
Legal Title Not Necessary for Party to Bring Citizen LawsuitArticles
Liability Transfer of Asarco New Jersey Site from Bankruptcy to ELTArticles
Making Institutional Controls Work for California BrownfieldsArticles
Marysville looks to a riverfront renaissanceNews
Massachusetts Tops California as Most Energy-Efficient State, while Arkansas, D.C., Kentucky, and Wisconsin are Most ImprovedArticles
Merger & Acquisition Transaction Facilitated by EnvironmentalLiability Transfer, Inc.News
Military Pays for Real Estate Developer to Cleanup SiteArticles
More than 5,500 buildings to compete in EPA’s Fifth-Annual Energy Star Battle of the BuildingsArticles
N.Y. Residents Sue IBM Alleging ContaminationArticles
Natural Disasters Prompt Attention to Climate Change in Assessing RiskArticles
New Agency Task Force Developing Tracking DatabaseArticles
New ASTM Standard Aims to Provide More Accurate Measurement of Energy Use
New Bond Fund Helps Investors See Different Kind of GreenArticles
New Federal Court Case Signals Increased Litigation Over Vapor Intrusion ReopenersNews
New Law to Affect California Brownfields RedevelopmentArticles
News Release - EPA Updates Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for New Power Plants Articles
OCC Ratchets up Expectations – OCC Requirements for Environmental Due Diligence in Commercial Real Estate Lending Articles
On the Cutting Edge: An Insider's Perspective Favorable Market Trends Driving Contaminated Property TransactionsArticles
Opportunities Are Bright For Those Who Pave the WayArticles
Opposition to Aviall-Court Rules a PRP Can Seek ContributionArticles
P.E. Firms Find Way Around F.D.I.C. RulesArticles
Pacific Western Bank, San Diego, California, Assumes All of the Deposits of Los Padres Bank, Solvang, California Articles
Partner Leverages EDR’s New Technology Tools To Drive Even More Quality and Efficiency Articles
Purchaser of Assets Pursuant to Bankruptcy Sale Liable for Pre-Existing ContaminationArticles
RCRA Hazardous Waste Systems: Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Streams Being SequesteredNews
RCRA Suit May Include Property Adjacent to FacilityArticles
Real Property Protections for the Buyer
Recent Case Ruling Highlights Need for Informed Discussion, Agency Guidance
Reforming NCP Could Encourage Brownfields RedevelopmentArticles
Resource Damage Liability Precludes Contribution ClaimArticles
Responsible Parties May Be Able to Pursue Section 107 (a) ClaimsArticles
RTM Announces San Francisco, CA May 18-20, 2011 Conference
RTM Communications, Inc. and Bloomberg BNA Proudly Announce a Webinar "Closing Property Transactions Using Mitigation Banking Credits." Articles
RTM Conference Sponsor ELT Announced 80 New Jobs - Mid America Brick CompanyArticles
RTM Conference: The Bumpy Road to Brownfields RedevelopmentArticles
Sen. Clinton Introduces TCE (Trichloroethylene) LegislationArticles
Site Owner Must Allow Testing During Discovery
Solutions for Contaminated Real Estate Newsletter - August 2016News
Solutions for Contaminated Real Estate Newsletter - September 2016 Newsletter by Commercial Development Company, Inc. (CDC) and Environmental Liability Transfer, Inc. (ELT)News
SRS & LABBC Collaborate on Workshop Series to Train Contractors on PACE FinancingArticles
Strategy Shift on Global Warming Heralded by Collapse of Chicago Climate ExchangeArticles
Successor Firm Liable for Merger Firm's ViolationsArticles
Superfund and RCRA Reforms Effecting Contaminated Property Transactions for Brownfields RedevelopmentsArticles
Supreme Court Rejection of a Divisibility of Harm ArgumentArticles
Supreme Court Vacates Third Circuit Section 107(a) RulingArticles
Sustainability - Energy Improvement Corporation Announces $75 Million Agreement with Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Program Articles
Sustainability - Retrofits Projected Yield $1Trillion in US Energy SavingsNews
Sustainability Energy Efficiency Market Projections 2013 to 2020Articles
Testimony of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Before Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Proposed FY 2015 BudgetArticles
The Capital Markets Partnership (CMP) is launching the Sustainable Investment Initiative at the New York Stock Exchange. Articles
The End of Community Banking?Articles
Third of North American Birds Said to Face Extinction Due to Climate Change, Other Man-Made FactorsArticles
United States Reaches an Agreement with XTO Energy to Prevent Waste Spills from Natural Gas Exploration and Production Articles
United States Reaches Settlement with Safeway To Reduce Emissions of Ozone-Depleting Substances NationwideArticles
USDA, EPA Partnership Supports Water Quality Trading To Benefit Environment, EconomyArticles
Wells Fargo Supports Clean Technologies With New Commercial Banking Group Articles