President's Deficit Plan Calls for Higher EPA Program Fees

Date: October 3, 2011

Source: News Room

President Obama has proposed a deficit reduction plan to Congress' budget "super committee" that would boost fees EPA collects through various programs, reinstate the Superfund tax and establish a national infrastructure bank. Republicans favor the plan's intent to accelerate the permitting process for infrastructure projects, but object to an infrastructure bank.

Obama on Sept. 19 released detailed recommendations for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, titled "Living Within Our Means and Investing In the Future," which focuses on reforming the tax code, drawing down military troops and cutting $580 billion in mandatory spending. Mandatory spending largely covers entitlement programs, while discretionary spending covers EPA's appropriations funding. The plan includes three EPA-specific efforts aimed at saving millions of dollars: increasing the charges that pesticide registrants must pay, lifting a cap on fees from chemical manufacturers seeking to market new chemicals, and establishing a Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste electronic manifest system.

The pesticide fee changes could save $740 million over 10 years, while lifting the cap on pre-manufacture notice user charges could save an additional $76 million over the same decade, the plan says. The RCRA manifest system -- which the plan says has industry support -- could save $31 million over 10 years, the plan says. In total, the three EPA program changes floated in the plan could save $847 million over 10 years. Obama also suggests reinstating the expired Superfund taxes on industry, predicting it would reduce the deficit by $19 billion over 10 years.

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