Deep budget cuts for US Clean Water

The US Environmental Protection Agency faces deep funding cuts in the 2005 budget, agreed upon by the two houses of Congress on 20 November and expected to be signed by President Bush.

The US Environmental Protection Agency faces deep funding cuts in the 2005 budget, agreed upon by the two houses of Congress on 20 November and expected to be signed by President Bush. The total EPA budget fell US$ 342 million below 2004 funding. Water quality improvement projects will suffer the most, given that Congress cut the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) by $259 million. The Clean Water SRF allocates funding for much of the nation’s major water quality projects; this budget will result in allocations to states being reduced by up to 18%.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the cut “will cripple more than 500 projects that protect water sources, treat sewage, clean up contaminated stormwater, and reduce animal waste flowing into waterways.” The EPA estimates that up to 75,000 sewage overflows occur annually, resulting in the release of billions of untreated wastewater into surface waters.

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