Superfund Program:

Breakdown of Appropriations Data

GAO-04-787R: Published: May 14, 2004. Publicly Released: May 21, 2004.

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On February 18, 2004, we issued a report updating the appropriations and expenditure data for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Superfund program that we included in our July 2003 report on the status of the program. To supplement this information, Congress requested that we provide a breakdown of the appropriations data, showing the amounts for the Superfund program, amounts designated for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Brownfields program. Superfund program operations are funded by appropriations from the general revenue fund and the Superfund trust fund. Historically, a tax on crude oil and certain chemicals and an environmental tax on corporations were the primary sources of revenues for the trust fund; however, the authority for these taxes expired in 1995. The trust fund continues to receive revenues in the form of cost recoveries, interest on the fund balance, fines and penalties, and general revenue fund appropriations that supplement the trust fund balance.

Total Superfund program appropriations decreased from fiscal year 1993 to fiscal year 2004, in constant 2003 dollars, from $1,884 million to $1,242 million. Since fiscal year 2000, the Superfund program has increasingly relied on revenue from general revenue fund appropriations. In fiscal year 2004, the appropriations form the general fund was the only source of funds for the program. The net Superfund program appropriations--excluding the amounts for ATSDR, NIEHS, and the Brownfields program--decreased from $1,757 million to $1,242 million, in constant 2003 dollars, from fiscal year 1993 to fiscal year 2004.

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