In a bold response to the recent oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and Yellowstone River, House Republicans are marking up a FY 2012 appropriations bill today that would cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency to 1999 levels, slash the agency’s oil spill prevention budget, and fail to provide additional resources for Deepwater Horizon victims.
Below is a brief summary of the funding levels set by the GOP majority in the Interior & Environment Appropriations bill report language for FY12:
Don’t Protect Kids — Protect BP: “The Committee’s recommended level also does not provide additional resources for the air toxic monitoring at schools or for the Deepwater Horizon litigation.” (page 62)
Slash The Oil Spill Prevention Budget, But Call It A ‘Priority’: “The Committee has not provided an additional $5,100,000 and 16 FTE requested for increased facility inspections under the latest SPCC [Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure] rule, but recognizes these activities will be a priority within base funds.” (Pg. 76)
Ignore Cancer Risk Of Arsenic: “The Committee directs that no further action be taken to post EPA’s 2010 draft cancer assessment of inorganic arsenic as final or for the use of any risk values from this assessment in federal regulatory or permitting decisions pending the completion of the NAS study.” [The National Academy of Sciences study referred to could take more than a year to complete.] (pg. 60)
The budget also rolls back the EPA to the Bush years — the George H. W. Bush years, that is.
Regulate Like It’s 1990: “EPA’s justification identifies over 300 air toxics rules that need to be under development by fiscal year 2012. At the same time, no new legislation has passed since 1990 mandating that EPA engage in these rulemakings. This is the clearest example of EPA’s regulatory agenda running out of control and it must be tempered.” (pg. 61)
Slash EPA Staff To 1992 Levels: “the Agency is directed to bring the headquarters FTE in line with the regional FTE and to cap its FTE level at no more than the fiscal year 2010 level of 16,594 which is 609 FTE blow the budget request, and the Agency’s lowest FTE utilization level since 1992.” (pg. 71)
Republicans also believe all means of enforcing compliance with EPA Rules are pointless: “The Committee rejects the $9,631,000 proposed increase for the Regaining Ground in Compliance Initiative on the grounds that additional monitoring, inspections, and reporting are not the solutions to improving compliance.” (pg. 62)
If monitoring, inspections, and reporting “are not the solutions to improving compliance,” then what is?
Read the entire Report for the FY12 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.