Cal/EPA budget still strong

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 18, 2008

On January 10th the Governor released his budget for 2008 calling for an across-the-board 10% reduction.  The following day the "green" agencies made a presentation on the effects on their budgets.

The bottom line is significant cuts are planned for the Resources Agency (Fish and Game, Parks and Recreation and Water Resources), but the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), with only 5% of its funding coming from the General Fund, is looking at only modest changes.  In fact, Linda Adams, Secretary of Cal/EPA announced that they will be increasing the number of positions in enforcement by 59 this year.  Mary Nichols, Chair of the Air Resources Board, said that they are also planning to add 20 people for Global Climate Change implementation and have been pledged 250 million dollars from last year’s bond to fund goods movement projects to clean-up the air around the ports.  The major issues that Cal/EPA has been involved with this year are expected to have their funding continued: Green Chemistry, Global Climate Change, On-Road Diesel and Extended Producer Responsibility.  

One casualty appears to be the Biomonitoring project which was just getting underway.  Funding was cut by $34,000, which will draw-out implementation.  In addition, the budget shows a reduction at the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of 4.3 million dollars and 12 positions.

Catching the most press was the announcement that 48 state parks were slated for closure.  The Legislature has been called into special session to deal with the budget crisis.   

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