Chesapeake Bay Program may get $20.77 million in new budget
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman during a visit Tuesday to Maryland highlighted the President's budget request including the highest request for the Chesapeake Bay Program since the mid-90s.
Feb. 5, 2003 -- EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, during a visit Tuesday to Maryland highlighted the President's budget request including the highest request for the Chesapeake Bay Program since the mid-90s.
Whitman also discussed the Administration's commitment to children's health and cleaning the air, all important topics for the people of Maryland.
During her visit Whitman announced that the Chesapeake Bay Program request for FY2004 totaling $20.77 million was the largest such request since FY1995.
"This money will help strengthen the good work this partnership is undertaking on behalf of the Bay," said Whitman who was joined by Maryland Governor Ehrlich. "The Chesapeake Bay is one of America's greatest treasures and its environmental health is important to millions of people, from those who make their living harvesting its bounty to those who enjoy its boundless recreational opportunities. At EPA, we've taken a long-term interest in the health of the Bay and have worked as part of the Chesapeake Bay Program to be good stewards of this treasure. This builds soundly upon that commitment."
Whitman noted that the Bay will also benefit from the President's Clear Skies initiative for which the President proposed $7.7 million in the budget. Clear Skies would create a mandatory program that would dramatically reduce power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and mercury by setting a national cap on each pollutant.
In Maryland, once Clear Skies is fully implemented, emissions of SO2 would be reduced by 92 percent, NOx emissions would be reduced by 80 percent and mercury emissions would be reduced by 85 percent. This is especially beneficial for the Bay. Nitrogen deposition would be reduced by 15-30 percent throughout the state, including coastal areas, such as the Chesapeake Bay, where nitrogen deposition contributes to coastal eutrophication
Whitman also took time to outline the President's proposed FY2004 budget of $69.7 million to address environmental threats to children's health. This includes $6.4 million--an increase of nine percent over the previous year's proposed budget--for ongoing work and research. Specifically, that includes an additional $3 million for the agency's efforts on children's asthma, including the successful Tools for Schools program which helps schools across the country assess and improve the quality of air their students breathe.
"A budget is really a policy document--and the policies the President's proposed budget supports demonstrate our commitment to cleaner and healthier air for all Americans, especially the most vulnerable among us, our children," said Whitman. "There is more we can do to help keep our children healthy - and thanks to the President's proposed budget, we will get the resources we need to do the job right."
The $3 million increase for children's asthma programs will bring the total funding to $24 million. Also, an additional $2.8 million has been requested by the President to expand research focused on the susceptibility and exposure of children to environmental pollutants. An additional more than half a million dollars has also been requested for outreach and education, implementation of regulations and risk assessment in the area of children's lead risk reduction.
"The President's proposed budget fully reflects the obligation we all have--government, industry, indeed every American--to be good, faithful stewards of the natural environment entrusted to us," said Whitman.
For more information on the President's proposed budget for EPA, visit www.epa.gov.