Details on the 2017 v. 2018 budget analysis

You can find our detailed analysis at EPA Budget Priority Comparison Table 2017-18  You an view or download our detailed analysis from this link.

How this Budget Analysis is Organized

The analysis is organized around the five strategic goals in EPA’s FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan, which is used as the organizational framework for the FY 2017 budget and performance plan.  ((The 2018 Congressional Budget Justification does not include an overarching framework. )

      • Air, Climate and Radiation (Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality)
      • Water (Protecting America’s Waters)
      • Communities and Land Restoration/Preservation (Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development). (Includes waste management, emergency planning, chemical risk management and cleanup programs.)
      • Chemicals and Pollution Prevention (Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution)
      • Compliance and Enforcement (Protecting Human Health and the Environment by Enforcing Laws and Assuring Compliance)

Because it’s a lot of information, I’ve included a summary sheet for each area, in addition to a worksheet which contains the detailed information.

Each worksheet contains two columns:

    • Column 1 includes brief narrative descriptions of those programs and activities highlighted as priorities in EPA’s FY17 budget. I’ve included summaries of major programs and initiatives, drilling down to primary implementing activities whenever possible. Dollar amounts reflect funds appropriated by Congress for EPA in FY 2017.
    • Column 2 shows the fate of these programs and activities in the Trump Administration’s FY18 budget proposal. I have also added some links to corresponding efforts by the Administration to roll back regulations, reduce oversight, and shift the focus of environmental compliance and enforcement.

Recognizing the ecological interconnectedness among air, water and land, EPA has increasingly taken a “cross-media” and “sector-specific” approach when addressing pollution problems.   As a result, some programs or activities may appear in more than one of the categories listed above in the comparative budget analysis.

The FY 2018 budget justification omitted many ongoing programs and activities identified as priorities in EPA’s FY 2017 performance plan. These omitted activities are identified as “not addressed in the FY18 budget.” Based on past experience with Agency priority setting, I’ve interpreted these omissions as indications that the programs/activities will not be funded or staffed, and are likely to slated for elimination.

Congressional Budget Justifications

Text and dollar amounts for this comparative analysis are drawn from EPA’s Congressional Budget Justifications for FY 2017 & 2018.

FY18: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-05/documents/fy-2018-congressional-justification.pdf

FY17: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/documents/fy17-congressional-justification.pdf

“CJ’s” are submitted each year at the start of the budget process. They are an integral part of an Agency’s accountability reporting to Congress.

Each “CJ” includes a “Performance Plan” which details the programs and activities on which EPA proposes to spend its budget for the upcoming year. The Performance Plan includes brief descriptions of each program/activity, including summaries of challenges and progress made in previous years. (Performance plan for FY 18 begins @ p. 35; for FY 17 it begins @ p. 16.)

Normally, each CJ also includes a detailed report on the agency’s progress in meeting the objectives it laid out in the previous fiscal year.  This “Program Performance and Assessment” appendix provides a detailed accounting (by performance metrics and dollars) of what the previous year’s budget “bought” in terms of the agency’s mission and goals. The FY17 Program Performance and Assessment report [for FY 16 performance] begins @ p.890.  The FY18 CJ omitted EPA’s “Program Performance and Assessme

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