Biden Administration Releases President’s Budget

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration released the President’s Budget for fiscal year 2024 to Congress. The Budget requests over $12 billion in discretionary budget authority for the EPA in 2024, a $1.9 billion or 19-percent increase from the fiscal year 2023 enacted level. To review the full budget and EPA’s response, click here.

Some highlights from the Budget and based off EPA’s summary include:

Tackling the Climate Crisis with Urgency. The Budget invests more than $23 billion for climate resilience across Department of Interior (DOI), USDA, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Department of Defense (DOD). These investments would help build communities’ resilience to floods, wildfires, and storms, and improve conservation and ecosystem management. The Budget provides the USDA $323 million to support ongoing implementation of the 10-year Wildfire Crisis Strategy to increase the scale of fuel and restoration treatments within high-risk “firesheds” as part of the Administration’s comprehensive, nationwide response to the threat of catastrophic wildfire to natural resources, communities, and infrastructure. The Budget also provides $314 million for DOI to help reduce the risk and severity of wildfires through fuels management and restore lands devastated by catastrophic fire.

Advancing Environmental Justice. The Budget bolsters the Agency’s efforts to achieve environmental justice in communities across the Nation by investing nearly $1.8 billion across numerous programs in support of environmental justice efforts. This investment supports the implementation of the President’s Justice40 commitment, which ensures at least 40 percent of the benefits of Federal investments in climate and clean energy, as well as infrastructure work such as Superfund, Brownfields, and SRFs, reach disadvantaged communities, including rural and Tribal communities. Additionally, this Budget will support activities creating good-paying jobs, cleaning up pollution, advancing equity, and securing environmental justice for communities that often bear the brunt of toxic pollution and impacts of climate change. The Budget also includes $91 million for technical assistance to support capacity building for communities to advance equity and justice.

Upgrading Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure and Replacing Lead Pipes Nationwide. The Budget provides more than $4 billion for water infrastructure, an increase of $1 billion over the 2023 enacted level. These resources foster water infrastructure upgrades, with a focus on underserved and rural communities that have historically been overlooked. The Budget funds all authorizations in the original Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 and maintains funding for EPA’s State Revolving Funds at the total 2023 enacted level, which complements funds provided for water infrastructure programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Budget also provides $219 million for two grant programs dedicated to reducing lead in drinking water and lead testing in schools (an increase of $163 million over the 2023 enacted level). It also funds other grants and loans to advance the goal of replacing all lead pipes.

Protecting Communities from Hazardous Waste and Environmental Damage. The prevention and cleanup of harmful environmental damage that poses a risk to public health and safety continues to be a top priority for EPA. In addition to an estimated $2.5 billion in Superfund tax revenue that will be available to EPA in 2024, the Budget provides over $350 million for the Superfund program to continue cleaning up some of the Nation’s most contaminated land and respond to environmental emergencies and natural disasters. The Budget also provides over $215 million for EPA’s Brownfields program to provide technical assistance and grants to communities, including overburdened and underserved communities, so they can safely clean up and reuse contaminated properties, as well as $20 million for the Alaska Contaminated Lands program. These programs support the President’s Cancer Moonshot initiative by reducing human exposure to harmful contaminants that are correlated with an increased risk for cancer.

Ensuring Safety of Chemicals for People and the Environment. The Budget provides an investment of $130 million, $49 million more than the 2023 enacted level to build core capacity to implement the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Under TSCA, EPA has a responsibility to ensure the safety of chemicals in or entering commerce. In FY 2024, EPA will focus on evaluating, assessing, and managing risks from exposure to new and existing industrial chemicals to advance human health protection in our communities. Another priority is to implement FIFRA to ensure pesticides pose no unreasonable risks to human health and the environment.

Tackling Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Pollution. The Budget provides approximately $170 million to combat PFAS pollution. PFAS substances are a group of chemicals that threaten the health and safety of all communities. This request allows the EPA to continue working toward commitments made under EPA’s 2021 PFAS Strategic Roadmap, including: increasing our knowledge of PFAS impacts to human health and ecological effects, restricting use to prevent PFAS from entering the air, land, and water, and remediating PFAS that have been released into the environment.

Restoring Critical Capacity to Carry Out EPA’s Core Mission. To position the Agency with the workforce required to address emerging and ongoing challenges, the Budget added nearly 2,000 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) relative to the current level, for a total of more than 17,000 FTEs, to help rebuild the Agency’s workforce. Developing staffing capacity across the Agency would enable EPA to better protect our Nation’s health, while also providing avenues to strengthen and advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Staffing resources would additionally fund a significant expansion of EPA’s paid student internship program to develop a pipeline of qualified staff.