Over the last decade, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been plagued by significant budget cuts. The request for FY 2008 is no different. EPA has requested $7.2 billion, $100 million below last year's requested amount and $400 million less than the 2006 appropriated funding level. EPA's budget request for FY 2008, in fact, is the lowest in well over ten years, after peaking in 2004 at $8.4 billion. EPA has proposed to reduce the number of full-time equivalents (full time positions [FTE]) from 17,560 to 17,324, eliminating roughly 236 positions.
Notably, over the past three years, scientific research within the EPA has endured considerable cuts. One primary goal of the EPA consists of maintaining and protecting clean air as well as addressing global climate change issues. It has comprised approximately 13 per cent of EPA's budget for the past three years, however, its budget for enhancing science and research has gone from $134 million in FY 06 (President's budget) to $98 million for FY 08. Similarly, EPA's goal of land preservation and restoration, accounting for nearly a quarter of the EPA budget, has seen sizeable budget reductions in enhancing science and research. Since 2006, funding for science and research has decreased $9 million in a program responsible for among many things, research on the transport of contaminants in ground water.
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