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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 1991 budget request. GAO noted that: (1) EPA requested $5.6 billion, increasing its operating budget from $1.92 billion to $2.15 billion, or 12 percent; (2) funding for the construction of wastewater treatment plants would be reduced from $2.0 billion to $1.6 billion; (3) the pace of environmental improvement may not meet public expectations because of state and local funding difficulties; (4) important EPA issues included water quality, non-point-source water pollution, asbestos abatement, pesticides, and the Superfund program; and (5) EPA could improve the linkage between program planning and budget planning.

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