Gino DiCaro

Cal EPA's Budget

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, Jan. 20, 2004

The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA) unveiled its $1 billion budget on Thursday afternoon. The budget shows a significant 38.7% decrease from the previous year’s budget. The bulk of the reductions are already in place, implemented during the “budget crisis” last year when Cal EPA eliminated more than 400 positions. Cal EPA receives less than 20% of its funding from the General Fund, but even that shows a 26% drop. The drop in revenue from the General Fund and Bonds will be felt in increased fees. The Air Resources Board has shifted $14.4 million from the General Fund to fees raised from its Stationary Source Program. Likewise, the Water Resources Board has partially addressed a $10 million reduction from the General Fund with $5.1 million in additional fees and special funds.

The budget breakdown by agency versus last year looks like this:

raquo; Air Resources Board: -21%
raquo; Department of Pesticide Regulation: -4%
raquo; Department of Toxic Substance Control: 0
raquo; Integrated Waste Management Board: + 44%
raquo; Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment: -8%
raquo; State Water Resources Board: -57%

The major change in the Integrated Waste Management Board’s budget is due to a $52 million allocation to implement the Electronic Waste Recycling Program mandated by last session's SB 20 (Byron Sher, D-Stanford) to impose a fee on the sale of electronic devices such as computer monitors and televisions.

In addition, Cal EPA touted a number of other programs for their primary focus in 2004: children’s environmental health programs, particularly from potential exposures in the school environment; Cal EPA’s “model” environmental justice program; environmental education; development of indicators of the overall health of California’s environment and the effectiveness of the state’s environmental programs; and finally, a commitment to protect the environment through tough enforcement concentrating on more efficient and cost effective methods for implementing existing enforcement programs.
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