EPA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY20
On March 11, 2019, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for the U.S. Government in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The proposal would reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by $2.8 billion or 31.2 percent compared to FY2019 levels.
To achieve the reductions, the budget proposes to “eliminate many voluntary and lower-priority activities” currently performed by EPA, and “refocus the Agency . . . on its core mission — providing America’s with clean air, land, and water, and ensuring chemical safety.” Programs to be eliminated include:
- The Global Change Research Program, which studies the environmental and health effects of climate change, and identifies options for managing those effects. According to EPA, the program is being eliminated to enable the agency to “prioritize activities that support decision-making related to core environmental statutory requirements.”
- The Science to Achieve Results Program, which funds research grants and graduate fellowships in environmental science and engineering. Again, EPA has indicated that the program is being eliminated so that the agency can “prioritize activities that support decision-making related to core environmental statutory requirements, as opposed to extramural activities.”
- The Environmental Education Program, which supports the science-based education to increase public awareness of environmental issues.
- The Endochrine Disruption Program, which develops scientific methods for testing pesticides and other chemicals to determine their potential to interfere with normal endocrine system function.
- The Water Research Grants Program, which funds research to develop and implement tools to protect water resources.
On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed H.R. 1865 -- the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 -- into law. Title II of Division D of H.R. 1865 provides $9.1 billion in funding for EPA in FY2020, an increase of 2 percent or $208 million above FY2019 levels. According to a Congressional summary of H.R. 1865, funding for EPA "is focused on returning the agency to its core mission of environmental cleanup."