EPA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY2021

On February 10, 2020, 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) 2021. Under the budget proposal, total funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would decline by $2.4 billion or 26.4 percent, compared to FY2020 levels.

A budget analysis published by EPA indicates that the reductions will be achieved, in part, by eliminating several research programs, including:

  • 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, "elimination [of the program] prioritizes activities that support decision-making related to core environmental statutory requirements."
  • The Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Research Grants Program, which funds research grants and graduate fellowships in environmental science and engineering. Again, EPA indicated that it is eliminating the program in order to "prioritize activities that support decision-making related to core environmental statutory requirements, as opposed to extramural activities."
  • The Environmental Education Program, which aims to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues, through science-based education. EPA noted that, in the past, the Environmental Education Program has provided "significant guidance and financial support . . . to non-profit organizations, local education agencies, universities, community colleges, and state and local environmental activities." According to EPA, that work could be "leveraged at the state or local level" after the program is eliminated.