AIBS has joined a group of academic institutions and scientific societies in urging the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to boost funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science and Technology (S&T) account in fiscal year (FY) 2023.
“Funding for EPA S&T has decreased dramatically from its peak of $846 million in FY 2010 to $750.2 million in FY 2022,” the groups note. “The reduction in funds to the EPA S&T account over time has occurred despite the research it supports leading to significant positive benefits to human health and welfare, pollution control, and environmental sustainability for the last several decades.”
In their letter, the groups recommend that appropriators provide at least $864 million for EPA S&T, of which $50 million should be directed to the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program, which provides research grants to U.S.-based universities to augment EPA’s internal S&T capacity to conduct research. The STAR program has been “under-funded in recent years with a reduction from its peak of $138 million in FY 2012 to $28.6 million for the last several fiscal years.”
Based on recommendations from a 2017 report from the National Academies, the letter also urges Congress to direct the EPA to re-establish the STAR Graduate Fellowship program to meet workforce needs in environmental research and management. The fellowships were terminated as part of the Obama Administration’s STEM education consolidation.
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