Budget and Spending:

Observations on the Environmental Protection Agency's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 1992

T-RCED-91-14: Published: Mar 7, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) fiscal year (FY) 1992 budget request. GAO noted that: (1) the EPA $2.5-billion request appeared appreciably higher than its previous budgets, but in constant dollars the proposed operating budget for FY 1992 was only $1.76 billion; and (2) due to the budget crisis, it was unlikely that EPA would acquire additional resources in the foreseeable future. In addition, GAO noted that, to better enable the nation to achieve environmental goals with limited resources: (1) federal budget priorities should reflect an understanding of relative risks to the environment and public health, and the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of various approaches to reduce those risks; (2) the measuring of changes in environmental conditions would provide EPA with a more meaningful indicator of the effectiveness of its environmental protection efforts; (3) an environmental control strategy combining traditional regulatory approaches with pollution prevention and market incentives could be less costly and more effective in controlling pollution; and (4) the federal government needed to address financial difficulties that some small communities would face in trying to comply with federal environmental requirements.

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