1995 CPEO Military List Archive

Date: 21 Jul 1995 10:01:59
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: Attack on Env. Protection.
 Hi folks,

 Thanks to Gawain for posting this information on the proposed EPA budget
 cuts and the serious impact it will have on EPA's ability to provide
 oversight for Base cleanups, as well as many other issues of
 environmental protection.

 I'm Mike Gill, EPA Project Manager for Moffett Field in Mountain View,
 CA. I don't know how much more you know than you saw in Gawain's
 message, but I do want to let you know that EPA's Administrator, Carol
 Browner, is digging in her heels against these budget cuts. She was in
 California last week and came to our offices on Friday, 7/14, and
 appeared visibly "P.O.'ed" about what she called a "full frontal assault"
 by the House on the protection of public health and the environment. She
 apparently met with many newspaper editorial boards out here and told
 them the same thing. If you saw the stories late last week, you know
 what I'm talking about. The bottom line is that she is definitely
 against these cuts and has assurances from Clinton that he will veto any
 bill that got to him in this form. I hope so.

 If you think EPA adds any value whatsoever to environmental cleanups or
 to any of the other "rider" issues mentioned by Gawain, I would urge you
 to take advantage of the democratic process and speak out. I'm sorry if
 this appears out of line for a "government employee", but I believe in
 this stuff. It's now or never.

 Hope to see you after October 1st.

 Mike Gill

Posting from Gawain Kripke <gkripke@Essential.ORG>

Dear friends,

Although I realize that the attached briefing will not interest everyone
on the conference, I think it is relevant to the general political and
bureaucratic climate. If the budget cuts described go through (as I
think they are likely to), it could have a serious impact on EPA's
ability to provide oversight and technical assistance functions for
military cleanups.

Please feel free to repost this message.

Gawain Kripke
Director, Appropriations Project
Internet: gkripke@essential.org

** Check out the Friends of the Earth Web Page at:
** http://www.essential.org/FOE.html


 Assault on Environmental Protection:
 EPA Under Attack in Appropriations

 Briefing Paper


Legislation working its way through the House Appropriations Committee
will deal a severe blow to the nation's flagship for environmental
protection, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If enacted, the
bill will cripple EPA's effectiveness on two fronts: 1) drastic budget
cuts, and 2) legislative language which hamstrings the EPA from
implementing key provisions of environmental laws such as the Clean Air
Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and the Federal Food, Drug
and Cosmetic Act. No cabinet-level department or major federal agency
faces cuts as drastic as the EPA, including the Departments of Energy and
Commerce which are slated for elimination.

The Meat Ax:

On July 10, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on VA-HUD-Independent
Agencies marked up the annual spending bill for fiscal year 1996. The
bill, introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA), includes a
staggering $2.35 billion budget cut to the EPA. The bill appropriates
only $4.89 billion, a 33% cut compared to this year's (FY95) budget.

Although the Subcommittee cut the budgets of many agencies under its
jurisdiction, EPA suffered a much higher proportion of cuts than other
major agencies in the bill.

 Percentage cut
Agency from FY95
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -33 %
Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) -23 %
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -8 %
National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) -6 %
National Science Foundation (NSF) -6 %
Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) 1 %


In particular, programs for environmental justice, new technologies,
climate change, and environmental enforcement took heavy blows. The
Superfund program, which cleans up toxic contamination, will take a cut of
more than $400 million and no new toxic cleanups are permitted under the
bill. The Water Infrastructure account, which helps states and local
governments build water treatment facilities, takes more than $700 million
in cuts in the bill.

The Rollback:

In addition to severe budget cuts, the funding bill is loaded with an
unprecedented number of legislative "riders" to freeze or rollback
implementation of environmental laws. Traditionally, the Appropriations
Committee allocates funding but leaves most policy matters to other
"authorizing" committees. This year, however, the House Appropriations
Subcommittee on VA-HUD- Independent Agencies loaded the bill with
provisions which severely restrict EPA's ability to protect the

The bill includes riders to:

 * Exempt the oil industry from rules to prevent dangerous accidents
 and releases of toxic substances,
 * Restrict EPA from enforcing measures to reduce sewer overflows
 which pollute rivers and threaten coastal areas,
 * Shut down EPA regulation of wetlands destruction,
 * Halt progress on many key aspects of the Clean Air Act,
 * Limit EPA's ability to promote pollution prevention at industrial
 * Force EPA to ignore rules which prohibit use of cancer-causing
 chemicals on food-products,
 * Stop new cleanups at toxic superfund sites, and
 * many others.

The bill has numerous special provisions and earmarks for polluting
industries and pork-barrel projects.


The House VA-HUD-Independent Appropriations bill represents a new front in
the attack on environmental protection. Cutting the EPA budget is not a
serious way to reduce the federal budget deficit. At approximately $6
billion, the EPA budget is less than half of one percent of the federal
budget. While the Committee faces severe budget constraints, the
priorities embodied in this bill are distinctly anti-environmental.

The budget and appropriations process have become the focus of the
anti-environmental agenda in Congress. Because this legislation is "must
pass"-- or else the federal government will grind to a halt -- it provides
an attractive vehicle for special interests and pork-barrel projects.

The House VA-HUD-Independent Appropriations bill will mean devastating
budget cuts to the EPA. The attached legislative language will
straight-jacket many important EPA efforts to protect environmental
quality and public health.


The bill was approved by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
VA-HUD-Independent Agencies on July 10. The full House Appropriations
Committee will consider the bill on July 18. The bill will likely go to
the full House of Representatives before August.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has not scheduled a markup and will
probably wait until September. The new fiscal year (FY96) begins October
1, 1995.

For more information:

 Gawain Kripke
 Friends of the Earth
 Phone: 202/783-7400 ext. 212
 Internet: foe@essential.org

 Updated July 17,1995

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