Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

Biden Administration again requests significant EPA budget increases

Posted by Jon Elliott on Wed, Apr 03, 2024

White_House1On March 11, the Biden Administration issued its budget proposal for federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 (October 1, 2024 through September 30, 2025). The administration proposes a $10.994 billion budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an 8.5% ($0.858 billion) increase above money allocated to EPA under the latest FY 2024 Continuing Budget Resolution (since no budget has been adopted for FY budget under continuing resolutions during FY 2024 (I wrote about the Administration’s FY 2024 proposal HERE). ctionsEven if an FY 2025 budget is enacted, political differences make significant reductions likely, but, it’s worth reviewing the proposal as a reflection of the Administration’s ongoing environmental priorities. The remainder of this note summarizes the latest proposal.

How is the budget request framed?

The budget proposal asks for 17,145 fulltime-equivalent (FTE) EPA employees, 2,023 more than the current 15,122. EPA provides budgetary and programmatic details in its 158 page “FY 2025 EPA Budget in Brief” document. The document identifies 4 Cross Agency Strategies applicable to EPA, and 7 agency-specific goals with applicable Objectives.

  • Cross Agency Strategies

(1) Ensure Scientific Integrity and Science-Based Decision Making. EPA is to:

  • increase the annual percentage of Office of Research and Development (ORD) research products meeting partner needs to 95% (from 93% in FY 2021)
  • implement 131 specified actions certified by Deputy Scientific Integrity Officials in each EPA program and region

(2) Consider the Health of Children at All Life Stages and Other Vulnerable Populations. EPA is to assess and consider environmental health information and data for children at all life stages for its actions that concern human health, generally and in specified ways

(3) Advance EPA’s Organizational Excellence and Workforce Equity. EPA is to take measures to enhance its organizational structures and performance, in line with government-wide priorities.

(4) Strengthen Tribal, State, and Local Partnerships and Enhance Engagement. EPA is to:

     - continue to support and enhance a variety of multi-governmental activities

     - eliminate its backlog of responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests

  • Agency-specific Goals and Objectives

(1) Goal 1: Tackle the Climate Crisis. Cut pollution that causes climate change and increase the adaptive capacity of Tribes, states, territories, and communities.

     - 1.1: Reduce Emissions that Cause Climate Change

     - 1.2: Accelerate Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts

     - 1.3: Advance International and Subnational Climate Efforts

(2) Take Decisive Action to Advance Environmental Justice and Civil Rights. Empower and build capacity of underserved and overburdened communities to protect human health and the environment.

     - 2.1: Promote Environmental Justice and Civil Rights at the Federal, Tribal, State, and Local Levels

     - 2.2: Embed Environmental Justice and Civil Rights in EPA Programs, Policies, and Activities

     - 2.3: Strengthen Civil Rights Enforcement in Communities with Environmental Justice Concerns

(3) Enforce Environmental Laws and Ensure Compliance. Improve Compliance with the Nation’s environmental laws and hold violators accountable.

     - 3.1: Hold Environmental Violators and Responsible Parties Accountable

     - 3.2: Detect Violations and Promote Compliance

(4) Ensure Clean and Healthy Air for All Communities. Protect human health and the environment from the harmful effects of air pollution.

     - 4.1: Improve Air Quality and Reduce Localized Pollution and Health Impacts

     - 4.2: Reduce Exposure to Radiation and Improve Indoor Air

(5) Ensure Clean and Safe Water for All Communities. Provide clean and safe water for all communities and protect our Nation’s waterbodies from degradation.

     - 5.1: Ensure Safe Drinking Water and Reliable Water Infrastructure

     - 5.2 Protect and Restore Waterbodies and Watersheds

(6) Safeguard and Revitalize Communities. Restore land to safe and productive uses to improve communities and protect public health.

     - 6.1: Clean Up and Restore Land for Productive Uses and Healthy Communities

     - 6.2: Reduce Waste and Prevent Environmental Contamination

     - 6.3: Prepare for and Respond to Environmental Emergencies

(7) Ensure Safety of Chemicals for People and the Environment. Increase the safety of chemicals and pesticides and prevent pollution at the source.

     - 7.1: Ensure Chemical and Pesticide Safety

     - 7.2: Promote Pollution Prevention

Now What?

Readers should note that the Goals and Objectives listed above are identical to those in EPA’s FY 2024 request, although the examples of accomplishments and further goals have been updated. Readers should also remember that federal budgeting is dominated by the US Senate and House of Representatives. In the first two years of President Biden’s term, the narrow Democratic majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate were sufficient to produce expansions of EPA’s budget (although less than the Administration’s requests). Now that Republicans have narrow control of the house, legislating has been particularly chaotic.

Self-Assessment Checklist

Does the organization operate facilities subject to permits issued by EPA or the state, under direct or delegated authority of federal environmental laws (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), etc.)?

Does the organization manufacture, import or distribute chemical substances subject to TSCA?

Is the organization subject to cleanup requirements under direct or delegated authority of federal environmental laws (Superfund, RCRA, etc.)?

Does the organization participate in EPA-sponsored voluntary programs subject to elimination?

Where Do I Go For More Information?

Information available via the Internet includes:

About the Author

jon_f_elliottJon Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 30 years. 

Mr. Elliott has a diverse educational background. In addition to his Juris Doctor (University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981), he holds a Master of Public Policy (Goldman School of Public Policy [GSPP], UC Berkeley, 1980), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Princeton University, 1977).

Mr. Elliott is active in professional and community organizations. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSPP Alumni Association, and past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section (including past chair of its Legislative Committee).

You may contact Mr. Elliott directly at:

Tags: Environmental, EPA, Environment, Environmental Policy, FTE, Joe Biden, USA