EPA Budget Seeks Reduced Amount for Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund

On Feb. 5, President Bush unveiled his $2.9 trillion budget request for next year, which includes $7.2 billion for EPA -- a cut of more than $400 million from the 2006 enacted funding.

The new budget emphasizes using more citizen-partners as EPA shifts into the next phase of environmental progress -- the green culture, officials said.

"As our nation shifts to a green culture, Americans are realizing that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility. Today, EPA has 300 million citizen-partners in our efforts to accelerate the pace of environmental protection," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "President Bush's budget request will fund EPA's role as our country enters this next phase of environmental progress."

The proposed 2008 spending plan includes $549.5 million for enforcement operations, the largest amount ever dedicated to that agency responsibility, officials said. However, the budget request seeks a $400 million reduction in the Clean Water Revolving Loan Fund, which provides grants to states to help cities and towns build water treatment plants and protect water quality. This amounts to nearly 37 percent below 2006 enacted funding levels. Funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program was sustained in the budget proposal at its current level of $842 million.

Other agencies that saw proposed cuts in water programs was the National Park Services' Land and Water Conservation Fund, which would be trimmed by nearly $85 million below fiscal 2006 levels. The fund was established in 1964 to provide money to federal and state governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans.

Additionally, funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' construction programs, which includes critical flood protection projects to save lives and property, would be slashed by roughly 35 percent, a cut of approximately $800 million.

Additional information about the administration's budget proposal for water-related projects can be found at the Web sites of:

White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/budget/2008

EPA: http://www.epa.gov/ocfo/budget/index.htm

U.S. Department of Interior: http://www.doi.gov/budget/2008/08Hilites/toc.html

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: http://www.hq.usace.army.mil/cepa/releases/2008budget.htm

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration: http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/%7Enbo/08bluebook_highlights.html

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