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EPA Cuts Funding For Touted 'Energy Star' Conservation Program

EPA has cut the operating budget by one-third for its highly touted Energy Star program, which provides a federal seal of approval for energy-efficient consumer products. The budget cuts are being imposed as lawmakers and administration officials are discussing ways to curb energy consumption and boost electricity supplies to avoid what some see as a looming crisis.

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Legal Issues May Cloud New House Cost-Benefit Plan For Environmental Rules

New House legislation authorizing EPA to conduct a pilot project under which the agency would evaluate the costs and benefits of varying budgets for regulatory programs is drawing fire from environmentalists, who say the pilot could illegally cap regulatory spending even for programs where considering the costs of some rules is illegal, such as the Clean Air Act program that establishes air quality standards.

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EPA Proposal Seeks To Offset Effect Of New Transportation Funding Burdens

EPA will soon issue a long-awaited transportation funding proposal that includes a number of new "streamlining" measures that appear aimed at offsetting court-ordered burdens for municipal planning officials who must demonstrate that their future plans do not impair air quality.

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NACEPT Panel Rejects Funding As Basis For Superfund Listings

An EPA-sponsored stakeholder group evaluating the future of the Superfund program has rejected using the availability of funds to determine whether to list a site on the National Priorities List (NPL), according to a draft version of the group's recommendations obtained by Inside Washington Publishers.

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States Urge EPA To Concede Budget Woes In Environmental Strategy

The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), which represents state environmental commissioners, is urging EPA to acknowledge in its strategic planning the significant role states play in meeting the agency's performance targets -- and how state budget woes may hamper the ability to meet those targets.

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GOP Pollster Shows Broad Backing For Long-Term Water Funding

Polling by a key GOP analyst shows broad public support for creating a federal water infrastructure trust fund, and wastewater officials are promoting the results as part of a multi-tiered strategy to push pending wastewater funding bills while building support for the more ambitious trust fund goal.

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Groups Target Bush Hydrogen Car Plan Among Wasteful Programs

A coalition of environmental and tax reform advocates is calling the Department of Energy's hydrogen car initiative one of the most wasteful government programs. The $1.2 billion initiative announced by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham in January 2002 was designed to replace a Clinton-era program the coalition also criticized.

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Water Treatment Industry Fights EPA Push For Better Asset Management

EPA water chief Tracy Mehan and water treatment industry officials are squaring off over Mehan's push to require treatment facilities seeking federal infrastructure loans to adopt techniques to better manage assets, which the utilities say will be expensive to implement and demonstrate even greater future funding needs that utilities are unable to address.

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Budget Blueprint Cuts Leave Water Infrastructure Funding In Doubt

Drinking water sources say that a recent decision by Congress to cut a proposed amendment to the budget resolution that would have provided a $3.5 billion increase to water infrastructure funding will leave any legislation this year authorizing additional funding for infrastructure unfunded for at least a year.

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Drinking Water Officials Seek Security Funding On Capitol Hill

Drinking water utilities have made significant progress in implementing post-Sept. 11 security measures, but substantial money is needed for systems to continue improving safeguards against terror attacks, according to a new American Water Works Association (AWWA) report. The water systems are using the report to seek increased federal security funding on Capitol Hill this week. The report shows "an incredible mobilization in a short period of time, and a change in attitude and culture," says an AWWA source.

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