Bush Administration Proposes Sweeping
Cuts to Environmental Enforcement,
Water Quality Monitoring, and Important Water
Last Monday the Bush Administration
proposed a budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 that would
seriously cripple further progress towards meeting
the goals of the Clean Water Act.
Though many of the proposed cuts are
not as drastic as the cuts proposed by Bush last
year, the clean water
budget proposed by Bush would decrease our understanding
of water quality problems, seriously undermine environmental
and hamper progress being made and future success
of critical clean water programs.
Below is the list of the Network's
top clean water budget concerns. Over the next few months
the Network will be educating Members of Congress about
the importance of these programs, and we will be circulating
sign-on letters for you to sign on to.
For now, the most important thing you can do
is to get the word out in your local and state press
calling on your Members of Congress to restore funds.
Most likely your state paper printed the Associated Press article on
the budget, but did not include a description of the
cuts to clean water. We are encouraging all Network members to submit a letter to the editor this week. Below you will find a sample letter. Please tailor
it to fit the clean water conditions in your state. OR
** Use our Media Guide to search for
reporters in your area and to directly e-mail them this
letter to the editor. It will only take you a few minutes to reach your local press! Go to capwiz.com/cwn/dbq/media.
Call the Network for more information
on the budget at 202-289-2421. To
see EPA's buget, go to http://www.epa.gov/ocfo/budget/budget.htm.
It should be noted that some good things
did come out of Bush's budget.
Bush proposed reducing the Army Corps of Engineers
(the Corps) budget
for several of their most environmentally harmful
projects. We will have
to see, however, if Bush will stands his ground
when Congress considers
Members will definitely add pork barrel projects
for their state
to the Corps budget.
Additionally, the Administration did
propose a $300 million floodplain mapping project
to be completed by the
the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
This type of project has been desperately needed for clean water, wetlands
protection and flood
protection for many years and is a big step in
the right direction.
Top Clean Water Network Bush FY03 Budget
1. Bush proposed a $15 million grant
program for state enforcement. To pay for this program,
EPA will have to reduce its enforcement staff by about
200 full-time equivalents. This large cut is the result
of vacancies not filled last year as well as additional
cuts to parts of the
enforcement budget this year. When Bush tried to cut
enforcement last year, Congress rejected a $25 million
state enforcement grant
program and the move to decrease the number of
EPA enforcement employees.
Congress reinstated full funding for EPA enforcement personnel. However, in FY02 vacancies were
never filled and additional
cuts were proposed this year.
2. Bush proposed to cut the Clean Water
State Revolving Fund (SRF) by $138 million, a 10 percent
reduction(proposed $1.2 million in FY03 compared to the $1.35 billion enacted
by Congress in FY02.)
The State Revolving Fund is used to provide low-cost
loans to communities
for a variety of programs to clean up impaired
water bodies and protect pristine waters. Under the SRF, states have considerable ability to choose which water infrastructure and water
quality projects are
priorities. Since its creation in 1987, states have used
these federal funds
to help improve water quality.
3. Bush proposed a $21 million voluntary
watershed initiative doled out
in competitive grants to the states.
Rather than investing dollars in a
new, voluntary-based program, we should first
ensure that the existing, severely underfunded watershed program, the
Total Maximum Daily Load
program, receives substantial boosts.
Voluntary programs though
potentially beneficial to water quality, are
not a substitute for
meeting the requirements for watershed clean-up
plans or TMDLs under the
Clean Water Act.
4. Bush proposed cutting Section 106
grants by $12 million (proposed $180 million compared
to FY02 enacted level of $192 million). This program provides funding for the states
including pollution control activities, surveillance,
monitoring, enforcement, and advice and assistance to
local agencies. This
program should be increased substantially, not decreased,
to provide states with assistance to meet
TMDL deadlines and to perform water quality monitoring.
5. Bush proposed $850 million for Safe
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund-the same amount
appropriated by Congress last year but $27 million
more than Bush proposed last year.
EPA says they are requesting $27
million more than requested last year to help
communities comply withthe
6. Bush proposed significantly cutting
water quality monitoring and streamgage activities under
the U.S. Geological Survey. He proposed a $5 million cut to the National
Water Quality Assessment Program
(NAWQA),the nation's only national water quality
monitoring program; a $2 million cut in streamgaging activities which
would result in 130 less
streamgages nationwide; elimination of the Toxic
Program which tracks the movement of toxic substances
and identifies emerging
clean water concerns, and elimination of the Water Resources
Research Institute which would end research collaboration
with 200 universities.
7. Bush proposed cutting the National
Estuary Program by $5.3 million, or 21% from FY02 levels.
Congress authorized $35 million and Bush proposes $19.2
million. Less than $1 million would be available for eachof the 28 "nationally significant"
8. Bush proposed $10 million for Beaches
Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH)
grants to states to help them improve water quality
monitoring and public notification programs under the
BEACH Act. The
Act, however, authorized $30 million for these grants
and we call on Bush
and Congress to fully fund this Act.
SAMPLE LETTER TO THE EDITOR
This year the Clean Water Act turns
30. Since the Act was passed in 1972 huge strides
have been made in cleaning up our Nation's waters. As we've
tackled the obvious eye-sores, less obvious clean water
been on the rise. Last Monday President Bush had the opportunity
to put our country on the path to cleaner water
and a more healthy and
sustainable environment and economy.
In countless polls voters say
clean water is a top concern.
However, instead of choosing to move us
forward on the path to clean water, Bush has
decided to leave us treading water.
In his 2003 budget, Bush ignored the
concerns of the American people and
chose to instead decrease our understanding of
water quality problems, seriously undermine environmental enforcement efforts, and hamper
progress being made at the state level.
He is proposing to weaken
environmental enforcement by cutting the enforcement
budget at the Environmental
Protection Agency and taking 200 environmental cops
off the beat. He is proposing to cut programs that provide critical monies and technical expertise to state agencies charged
with keeping their
He is even proposing to side-step the letter
of the law to
develop voluntary programs to replace requirements under
the Clean Water Act.
I call on Representatives [INSERT NAMES OF YOUR
REPS HERE] and Senators [INSERT NAMES OF SENATORS HERE]
to restore these cuts to our vital clean water programs.
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