Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today made the following remarks regarding President Bush's proposed 2009 budget for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

"The EPA's job is to protect the health of our families, but with this budget the President is once again sending a clear message that cleaning up our environment is not a priority for the Bush Administration."

The President has proposed to reduce EPA's budget by $330 million (a 4.4% cut). The budget proposes severe reductions in several key programs for protecting our health, cutting air and water pollution, and restoring the environment. Following are a few examples of the deep cuts the President proposed today:

· Reducing Protections for Clean Water.  Over $270 million in cuts to programs that help local governments pay to cleanup sewage and protect rivers, streams, and lakes from pollution, and for other local water projects.

· Cutting Funding for Addressing Toxic Sites.  Cuts about $4 million in funding for hazardous substance Superfund enforcement, $4.3 million in cuts for Superfund investigations and audits, and nearly $5 million in cuts for Superfund remedial actions. Since 2001, the annual pace of cleanups has declined by 50%, from roughly 80 per year to 40 - only 24 cleanups were completed last year.

· Cutting Polluted Runoff Controls.  Cuts over $16 million in state grants to control polluted runoff (non-point source pollution).

· Slashing Key Global Warming Efforts.  Eliminates funding for the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Registry, a $3.4 million cut, which would undermine the government's ability to track global warming pollution. Also cuts $7 million (38%) from programs that seek to use science and technology to address global warming.

· Weakening Efforts to Protect Air Quality.  Cuts $31 million funding from State and Local Air Quality Management Grants, which help address air pollution across the country.

· Cutting Protection for Border Communities.  Cuts $9.7 million (nearly 50%) from the program that helps US communities along the Mexican border address water contamination and other pollution.

· Eliminating Funding for a Key California Air Pollution Program.  Zeroes out over $9.8 million in funding for California Emission Reduction programs, which address serious air problems in San Joaquin and South Coast communities.

· Cutting Efforts to Control Hormone-Disrupting Toxics.  Cuts $3.6 million (35%) from efforts to help protect people from endocrine disruptors, dangerous chemicals that can harm human health at very low levels by interfering with the body's hormone systems.

· Eliminating Funding for San Francisco Bay Restoration.  Cuts over $4.9 million from the San Francisco Bay cleanup and restoration program.

· Slashing Funding for Environmental Justice Enforcement.  Cuts $2.6 million (40%) from EPA's efforts to promote environmental justice through enforcement.

NOTE: These figures are based upon summary tables provided by EPA. Normally, EPA provides a detailed "Budget Justification" document with an explanation of all budget figures, but this year has failed to do so, undermining the transparency of the President's proposed budget.

# # #