Feb. 3, 2004 — President Bush submitted a 2005 environmental budget today that includes the highest level of funding ever requested by a President for high-priority environment and natural resource programs.
His budget is focused on measuring performance and producing results, building on the significant progress the Nation has made in improving air quality, restoring public lands, providing cleaner water, and protecting our resources and wildlife. For example, over the last thirty years, as the U.S. economy expanded 164 percent, population rose 39 percent, and energy consumption increased by 42 percent, air pollution from the six major pollutants decreased by 48 percent. The President’s policies are focused on delivering even greater progress across the board.
President Bush’s budget request reflects his commitment to achieving results. It invests heavily in the programs that have been proven to work and in innovative programs to work even better. The budget also emphasizes and supports collaborative efforts between the federal, state and local governments to pursue more local solutions to environmental challenges. Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton, Agriculture Department Secretary Ann M. Veneman, EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James L. Connaughton made the following statements:
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton
“President Bush’s budget is focused on achieving results to conserve our natural and cultural resources, serve communities, improve recreational opportunities and promote partnered problem solving,” Interior Secretary Gale Norton said. “A tremendous example of the president’s environmental commitment is his $53 million increase for the Abandoned Mine Lands program – the largest funding increase since states established AML funding programs almost twenty years ago. The increase is part of a plan to eliminate all significant health and safety problems associated with abandoned coal mines within 25 years.”
Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman
“Farmers and ranchers are some of the best stewards of the land. President Bush’s budget includes funding for good conservation measures and forest protections,” Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman said. “The fiscal year 2005 budget includes increases in important programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Reserve Program and Conservation Security Program, as well as key funding increases under the Healthy Forests Initiative to make our forests healthier, our communities safer and wildfires less destructive.”
EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt
“With the President’s budget, we can pick up the pace — protecting our land, cleaning our air and cleansing our water — efficiently, effectively and without impairing the economy,” said EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt. “We can accelerate our environmental progress in protecting our spectacular landscapes, our vital ecosystems, and the health of our communities and their citizens.”
White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairman James L. Connaughton
“The Bush Administration has embraced the philosophy that a growing American economy is the solution to improving our environmental quality,” said Jim Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The funding priorities within this budget will advance the many performance-based initiatives President Bush has launched to clean our air and water, restore our lands, protect wildlife habitat, and encourage the ethic and practice of personal stewardship.”
The 2005 budget proposes record funding for high-priority environment and natural resource programs and emphasizes measuring performance and effectiveness by:
“- Proposing $46.9 billion for high-priority environment and natural resource programs, the highest level ever requested by a President. This funding level is $1.4 billion, or roughly 3 percent, higher than the President’s 2004 budget.
“- Emphasizing measuring program performance and effectiveness. Based on these measures, the Administration seeks to increase funding for highly effective programs.
To build on the progress the nation has made in reducing air pollution and ensuring cleaner air for future generations, the President’s budget provides:
“- Funding for his Clear Skies Initiative to cut power plant pollution by 70 percent, when implemented, the Interstate Air Quality rule, and the Administration’s new regulations on diesel engines and fuel.
“- An increase in funding, from $5 million to $65 million, for the Clean School Bus USA program, which supports projects that reduce diesel emissions from school buses through bus retrofit or replacement activities. By expanding this program, additional resources are available to communities for local initiatives that address an issue important to children and parents across the nation.
To restore our forests and grasslands to more natural, healthy conditions, and to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires, the President’s budget provides:
“- A $58 million, or 14 percent, increase for Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture fuels reduction (thinning of dense brush and undergrowth) program. The total program funding of $476 million is now four times the amount provided in fiscal year 2000. The two Departments propose a total of $760 million for fuels reduction and other activities that advance the Healthy Forest Restoration Act signed on Dec. 3, 2003 by the President.
“- Together with this increased funding, the budget reflects an improved environmental review process, increased collaboration with local communities, and other tools provided in the Healthy Forests Initiative that will enable Interior and Agriculture to reduce the excessive build-up of hazardous fuels in our Nation’s forests and rangelands, reduce in priority areas the risk of catastrophic fire to communities, help save the lives of firefighters and citizens, and protected threatened and endangered species.
To eliminate the dangers emanating from abandoned coal mines, the President’s budget provides:
“- An increase of $53 million, or 28 percent, for the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program, the largest funding increase since states established their AML funding programs almost twenty years ago. While not part of the environment crosscut, this program is worth highlighting. The proposed increase accompanies a plan to eliminate all significant health and safety problems associated with abandoned coal mines within 25 years. Under the current program, it would take an average of 47 years to reclaim the most dangerous abandoned coal mines. In addition to resolving serious health and safety problems, by acting now to refocus the program and directing funding to the highest priority sites, the AML reforms will save more than $3 billion over the life of the program.
To manage, improve and restore to good order our National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, the President’s budget provides:
“- $2.6 billion to manage the National Park system and the Fish and Wildlife Service core operations. This includes a $76 million, or 5 percent, increase for NPS operations (nearly $1.7 billion total).
“- A $4.6 million increase ($77.6 million total) for National Park Service’s Natural Resource Challenge, the ongoing effort to measure the condition of natural resources in national parks.
“- Over $1.1 billion in funds for maintenance of park facilities and roads, a 37 percent increase over 2001 and nearly double the amount from just seven years ago. This $77 million increase over last year will bring the total investment in park facilities maintenance during this Administration to $3.9 billion over four years and help fulfill the President’s funding commitment to provide $4.9 billion over 5 years. Equally importantly, the National Park Service now has for the first time in its history an asset management system in place to establish the actual conditions of NPS facilities and objectively measure improvements in their condition.
To continue developing clean, domestic energy options that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and cut air and pollution greenhouse gas emissions, the President’s budget provides:
“- Continuing support for his 5-year, $1.2 billion initiative to research and develop hydrogen production, storage, and infrastructure technologies to accelerate the introduction of commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells for cars, trucks, homes, and businesses, while producing virtually no pollution or greenhouse gases.
“- $447 million for the President’s Coal Research Initiative to improve the environmental performance of coal power plants by reducing emissions and improving efficiency. This includes $237 million for the “FutureGen” coal-fired, zero-emissions electricity and hydrogen power plant announced by the President in February 2003. While this program is not part of the environment crosscut, it is worth noting as an important initiative.
“- Tax incentives totaling $4.2 billion through 2009 to spur the use of clean, renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, such as hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, residential solar heating systems, renewable energy produced from landfill gas, wind or biomass, and efficient combined heat and power systems. These incentives are not included in the environment crosscut, but they, too, are worth highlighting in this context.
To continue the President’s support for increased scientific research on global climate, the budget provides:
“- $238 million for the Climate Change Research Initiative (CCRI), a $70 million increase, or 42 percent, over 2004. This funding level includes $57 million to accelerate efforts to advance understanding of the role of aerosols in climate science, better quantify carbon sources and sinks, and improve the technology and infrastructure used to observe and model climate variations. The CCRI focuses on reducing significant uncertainties in climate science, improving global climate observing systems, and developing resources to support policymaking and resource management.
To ensure cleaner, safer water, the President’s budget provides:
“- $45 million for the Great Lakes Legacy Program, almost five times the 2004 level of $10 million. These additional funds will allow EPA, in conjunction with its community partners, to begin remediating contaminated sediments at six sites. Sediment remediation will help keep toxics such as polychlorinated biphenyls and heavy metals from entering the food chain, where they may cause adverse effects on human health and the environment.
“- $25 million for the Targeted Watersheds program, a $10 million increase, or 67 percent, over the 2004 Consolidated Appropriations legislation level. Through this program, EPA will provide competitive grants to communities to implement watershed protection and restoration plans. Of the $25 million, $10 million is designated for a regional pilot program. The 2005 pilot will take place in the Chesapeake Bay, with the funds used to help publicly-owned treatment works implement nonpoint source projects to comply with nutrient discharge limits.
“- $20 million for a new water quality monitoring initiative. This proposal provides $17 million in grants and $3 million in technical assistance to help States and tribes develop and implement statistically representative water quality monitoring programs. This consistency across programs will eventually allow EPA to make a national determination of water quality and ensure resources target the highest priority problems.
“- $21 million for Water 2025, an increase of $13.3 million for this initiative that strategically addresses the problem of competing demands for a finite water supply. While this funding is not part of the environment crosscut, it is of significant importance. Water 2025 will help States, Tribes, and local communities improve conservation, implement efficiencies, and monitor water resources. In some cases, collaborative approaches and market-based transfers can use water banks or other means to meet emerging needs. Federal investments in research and development will provide more affordable water treatment technologies, such as desalination, to increase water supplies in critical areas.
To ensure cleaner lands through waste site clean-ups and continuous monitoring, the President’s budget provides:
“- $7.4 billion, an increase of around $400 million over 2004, for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Environmental Management program to accelerate hazardous and radioactive waste cleanup projects at federal facilities. The 2005 Budget contains the highest request ever for the program.
“- A total of $210 million for brownfields cleanup, a $40 million, or 24 percent, increase over the 2004 Consolidated Appropriations legislation level. The funding includes an increase for grants and loans to fund clean up of lightly contaminated sites.
“- $1.4 billion for the Superfund, a $124 million, or 10 percent increase, over the 2004 Consolidated Appropriations legislation level. This increase reflects a 48 percent boost targeted for the Superfund’s remedial program, which will allow 8-12 additional construction starts in 2005 and a similar number of additional completions by 2006.
“- An increase of $26 million, or 217 percent, over the 2004 Consolidated Appropriations legislation level to strengthen EPA’s partnership with the States to monitor underground storage tanks. Recognizing that States have primary responsibility for monitoring tanks, issuing permits and enforcing regulations, the additional grant money will provide funds for States to inspect a larger universe of federally regulated underground storage tanks on a more frequent basis as they continue to administer the Underground Storage Tank Program under delegated authority from EPA.
To ensure strong and efficient regulatory, research and enforcement activities, and improved collaboration with states through grant programs, the President’s budget provides:
“- $4.4 billion — the highest level in EPA history — $33 million, or one percent, above the 2004 budget for the EPA’s Operating Program. The Operating Program consists of EPA’s core regulatory, research and enforcement activities and state program grants.
“- $1.25 billion for EPA categorical State grants, the highest level in EPA history. This $84 million increase, or 7 percent, will provide additional resources to States and tribes to run their core environmental programs. Included within this total is a new $23 million State and Tribal Performance Fund which will award competitive grants for projects that can demonstrate environmental and public health outcomes.
To promote conservation efforts, personal stewardship and responsibility, the President’s budget provides:
“- Over $500 million for Department of the Interior cooperative conservation programs, including a $25.5 million increase for the Cooperative Conservation Initiative, an initiative that embodies the Administration’s vision of healthy lands, thriving communities, and dynamic economies through partnerships with State and local governments, Tribes, and private landowners. The High Plains Partnership, for example, received a $5 million increase to enhance habitat on private lands on two million acres across the 11-state High Plains region.
“- A 400 percent increase in funding for the Conservation Security Program (CSP), with a total program level of $209 million. The CSP is a new program being implemented in 2004 that supports ongoing conservation stewardship of agricultural lands by providing assistance to producers who maintain and enhance natural resource conditions. The program identifies and rewards farmers and ranchers who are meeting the highest standards of conservation and environmental management on their operations. In turn, CSP creates incentives for other producers to meet those same standards of conservation performance.
“- $4.6 billion, a $245 million increase, for implementation of Farm Bill conservation programs. Major increases include $168 million for the new Conservation Security Program; $76 million for the Conservation Reserve Program; $25 million for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; and $18 million for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. This funding will have multiple benefits for improving water quality, conserving farmland, and protecting wildlife habitat.
“- $900 million for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) programs. Consistent with the purposes of the LWCF Act, programs such as Forest Legacy and the Cooperative Conservation Initiative promote stewardship of natural resources through partnerships rather than federal land acquisition. The budget, for example, proposes significant increases for Fish and Wildlife Service conservation grant programs, such as an $11 million increase, or 16 percent over 2004, for the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants program, and a $20 million increase, or 69 percent over 2004, for the Landowner Incentive Grants program.
“- $20 million in funding to phase-in a multi-year Department of Defense (DOD) Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative to utilize the authority DOD received in the 2003 Defense Authorization Act. This authority allows DOD to work with environmental conservation organizations and state and local governments to preserve land surrounding military installations. The Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative will support an array of efforts, including acquisition of land and easements, for preventing undesirable development around military test and training ranges, while ensuring sound environmental stewardship.
To protect fish and wildlife habitat, and build on the success of Administration restoration efforts, the President’s budget provides:
“- Over $67 million for the Klamath Basin, an increase of over $16 million from Fiscal Year 2004 to help find a long-term resolution to the conflict in the Klamath River Basin that will provide water to farmers who depend on it for a living, while taking careful steps to protect and enhance the health of fish populations. While this funding is not part of the environment crosscut, it is worth noting. Together with funds available in Fiscal Year 2004, this increase in the President’s budget will include funds for habitat restoration, removal of fish migration barriers, land acquisition, and the use of water banking. Funding in other agencies brings total funding for Klamath Basin projects to over $100 million.
“- More than $600 million for Columbia River system salmon, through the Department of Energy/Bonneville Power Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce. This amount includes discretionary funding of $342 million, a $15 million increase over 2004.
“- $100 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund to assist states, tribes, and local governments with thousands of projects that benefit Pacific coastal salmon in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and Alaska. This represents a $10 million increase over 2004. Restoration of endangered salmon stocks is important for environmental quality, Native American communities, commercial and recreational fishermen, and the economic vitality of the Pacific Northwest.
“- An additional $59 million, a 26 percent increase, to support partnerships with states, non-government organizations, and private individuals to conserve and manage wildlife and their habitat. Specifically, the Landowner Incentive Program is funded at $50 million, an increase of $20 million or 69 percent, and the Private Stewardship Grant program is increased by $3 million, a 35 percent increase, for a total funding of $10 million. The popular State Wildlife and Tribal Grants program is funded at $80 million, an $11 million increase, or 16 percent, while the successful North American Wetlands Conservation Fund is increased by $16 million, or 44 percent. The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund is increased by $8 million, or 10 percent. By helping inspire a nation of citizen stewards, cooperative conservation projects advance the Administration’s vision of healthy lands and thriving communities.
To provide for a safer, cleaner transportation system, the President’s budget provides:
“- An estimate of $2.1 billion for Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), $100 million, or 5 percent, above the 2004 estimated level. The budget estimates $654 million for Transportation Enhancements (TE). These funding levels reflect the distribution of funds among highway programs under the second year of the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal. Funding for CMAQ and TE is proposed to increase annually over the remainder of the six-year reauthorization period.
“- $7.3 billion for transit, to support Federal Transit Administration’s capital investment and transit safety programs. The proposed level includes $1.6 billion for major capital projects and $148 million for the President’s New Freedom Initiative to assist disabled individuals with alternative transportation options as they join the workforce.