Air Pollution:

Reductions in EPA's 1994 Air Quality Program's Budget

RCED-95-31BR: Published: Nov 29, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on: (1) reductions in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) fiscal year (FY) 1994 budget for its air quality program; (2) how EPA allocated the reductions among the program's various components; and (3) how the reductions affected EPA efforts to meet certain requirements and deadlines established by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

GAO found that: (1) EPA reduced the air quality program's FY 1994 budget by $32 million; (2) EPA cut $25.4 million from the program's budget to comply with the $81 million reduction in the overall EPA budget for contracts, grants, personnel, research, and other activities; (3) EPA cut $825,000 from specific air quality programs and reprogrammed $5.7 million to fund high-priority initiatives; (4) the reductions significantly impacted some individual program components; (5) although $16.6 million was restored to the air quality program's budget, the funds were received too late to meet 1994 needs and were carried over to FY 1995; (6) EPA had difficulty in allocating the reductions because Congress and the Administration imposed certain constraints on its budget reduction options, and unprotected programs absorbed a greater proportion of the reductions; and (7) EPA will miss some important deadlines because of these budget reductions, particularly those for issuing pollution control standards and rules.

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