tv EPA Administrator Pruitt Testifies on FY 2018 Budget CSPAN June 16, 2017 3:06am-5:10am EDT
>> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, illinois democratic congresswoman robin kelly discusses security for members of congress. and the washington examiner discusses congress and concealed carry laws. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. this morning. join the discussion. >> mitch landrieu will talk about the confederate monuments in the city and the future of race relations in the u.s. live at the center for american progress starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. you can follow live on c-span.org and on the c-span radio app.
epa administrator scott pruitt answered questions about his agency's budget request. it calls for major cuts and a reduction in the workforce of nearly 4000 employees. this hearing was held by a house appropriations subcommittee. it ran just over two hours. >> the committee will come to order. good morning. good morning. today we continue to keep all those affected by yesterday's events, including steve scalise, in our thoughts and prayers. we applaud the capitol police in being the first line of defense in protecting public service and visitors. we have a few of them here today. thank you for all the work that you do. turning our attention to the hearing, we are joined by the 14th administrator of the environmental protection agency, scott pruitt. congratulations on your confirmation.
you have joined a distinguished group. we look forward to hearing your vision and working with you to provide the resources necessary to manage an important agency. we are also joined by senior adviser to the administrator. your firsthis is time testifying before the subcommittee as well. welcome to both of you. before we dive into the specifics, administrator prewitt, you have a tough job today. the 2018 budget proposes to shift $54 billion from nondefense spending to the defense side of the ledger. those are tough lines to meet, and many tough choices were necessary to meet those targets. earlier this morning, i along with ranking members of the subcommittee discussed the defense budget with the hearing with secretary mattis. that conversation underscore the need for further funding to support our troops and overall
u.s. readiness. i certainly wholeheartedly support that goal. however, a $54 billion in nondefense program cuts in one fiscal year is an untenable proposition. proposed cuts of this magnitude would put agencies and important tasks at risk. i suspect a common critique you hear from other cabinet officials and may hear from congress throughout the budget process. that is why it is necessary that it some point the administration, senate and house come together with a budget agreement before we can have a common goal we can work with. nonetheless, we appreciate you being here today to defend the budget that proposes to reduce funding by $2.4 million. in many instances the budget proposes to significantly reduce or terminate programs that are vitally important to each member
on the subcommittee. for example, the diesel reduction grants are essential to improving quality in my home state of california. so too are the targeted air shed grants, which the budget fails -- the superfund program, while considered an infrastructure priority for the president, is reduced by 31%. this reduction will most certainly impact new cleanups and slow ongoing cleanups. these are all proposals that we are unlikely to entertain. further, the budget proposes to significantly reduce other important state grants, while asking states to continue to serve as principal leads to implement environmental programs. finally, most geographic programs are proposed for termination. this is perhaps not how you personally woodcraft epa's budget, but it is the budget you
have to defend here today. i am pleased the budget supports the healthy investment in water infrastructure. the budget maintains funding for the clean water and drinking funds at current levels and continues to fund programs that create construction jobs in every state and in every congressional district. i strongly support the program giving its ability to leverage additional sources of funding. it could be a game changer to stem the growing backlog of needs for improving water quality and a nice complement to srs. turning to policy, we all want clean air and clean water and a strong robust economy. my constituents in california demanded both a healthy environment and job creation. it is not an either/or proposition. in southern california we have made tremendous improvements in the past number of decades. it is important we continue to
look for ways to clean our air. i support epa's decision to recalibrate the implementation of the 2015 ozone standards so we can ensure our clean air efforts are carried out in an effective manner. i remain as committed as ever to providing resources to support proven programs that actually reduce particulate matter and ozone, and improve health outcomes for the impacted areas. last year's epa budget hearings, the subcommittee raised concerns that statutory obligations were given insufficient attention, while new regulations were prioritized. i think it is fair to say you bring a refreshing new perspective to the position. we look forward to hearing the perspective today. in forward weis can work together in coordination with our state, local, and tribal partners to find sound solutions to tackle the challenges before us. i know all members are eager to discuss various issues with you,
so i will save additional remarks following your testimony. i am pleased to yield to my >> thank you and good morning. the environmental protection agency is responsible for protecting human health, the environment, ensuring clean air and health for families and children. the budget you have come with us -- come to us today would jeopardize our water and wreak havoc on our economy. -- trumpadministration administration abandons the epa responsibilities to people by proposing a 30% cut. the last time epa appropriations was the slow was 1990. the administration with set the agency back 30 years, it the
complex challenges we face today. mr. trump campaign last year on companiesthat allowed to pollute our air and water spewed -- waters. mr. trump is putting his anti-environment agenda into action. executive orders have directed the government to ignore the significant cost of pollution and climate change to our economy. the republican congress passed a -- to keep coal mining out of our water, and it is toxic. the united states has become a rogue environmental nation when it comes to working on the planet's climate challenge. this budget is the latest expression of the administration's willful denying
of climate science. the earth is currently getting warmer because people are adding heat, trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. that is a quote. scienceget ignores that , and cuts climate change science 91%. includes cuts so deep that 47 programs are eliminated, and many are relied on by and issues. one is energy star, which is safe customers -- saves customers billions of dollars. manufacturers, builders, retailers, they all want the epa to continue this program. it also proposes eliminating geographic programs like the great lakes, chesapeake bay, which are economic generators for local communities. for every one dollar invested in
great lakes restoration, there is two dollars return of benefits. give the american taxpayer a great deal in return. they also protect their resources well creating jobs and promoting growth. the trump administration has shown contempt for science through this budget and policy decision. the budget proposes to cut the epa office of research and development by $237 million, or 46%. this office provides the foundation for credible science to safeguard human health from environmental pollution. administrator prewitt, under your leadership, the epa dismissed work done by cancel the when you ban on a harmful pesticide curate i have a letter from the thatcan academy of people of pediatrics about this pesticide.
it damages children's brains. the evidence was disregarded. evidence from doctors and scientists. now this budget would stifle the very office that provides this information. the grantsposes that the cut 44%, that is $469 million. these cuts will cripple states and communities to implement programs that protect public health. i would be remiss if i did not call attention to the agency's workforce. overbudget proposes to cut 3000 employees. these are scientists, experts and officers who protect the american people from toxins, carcinogens, and other dangerous chemicals. gratitudem a debt of every time we turn on the tap
water in it is safe. as we know, president trump has proposed this destructive budget and administrator prewitt can come here and defend or promoted, that it is congress and this committee that will determine the funding. on may 5, president trump signed into law, the omnibus appropriation bills. in 138 republicans voted together to fund the epa at a level which sustains the agency, supports a skilled federal workforce and protects public health. mr. chairman, i want to thank you for working with democrats to achieve that positive outcome for our nation. as we move forward, i know we will once again rely on each other to have a positive working relationship and i know i can count on you could however, i want to be clear i will not support a committee that funds the epa below the 2017 level. let me close with why i feel so
passionate. radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. mr. pruitt, this budget proposes to eliminate funding for the radon program, which saves lives. this committee, both the democrats and republicans, has always worked together to support radon. as a member of congress, i believe we cannot allow the harm done to american people that this budget would inflict, and i think the chairman for the time and i yield back. >> thank you for holding this committee. i will get straight to it.
2018 budgetear request for epa is a disaster. $5.655 billion, a staggering $2.4 billion below the fiscal year 2017 active level. a cut of more than 30%. while you claim most of these cuts will be part of a substantial reduction in which would impact the epa's ability to fulfill its critical mission protecting the air we breathe and the water we drink. between your disturbingly close ties to the oil and gas industries, your past work to directly undermine the epa and skepticism that human activity plays a role in climate change, i suppose it is surprising you did not propose to eliminate the agency altogether.
let's be clear, members of congress from both sides of the scientists, business leaders and the vast majority of americans agree man-made climate change is real, and it poses a threat to our planet that must be confronted quickly and seriously. here are the facts. facts. carbon emissions are creating holes in the ozone layer and contribute to changing and often dangerous weather patterns around the world. asmate change has manifested catastrophic events that threaten our national security and the livelihoods of american families. is this administration burying his head in the sand, and according to a new poll conducted by the washington post
and abc news, 59% oppose president trump's decision to withdraw from the paris agreement, which has in short a unified, global response to combat rising carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere. 55% of people surveyed feel this decision has hurt u.s. leadership in the world. your budget request further demonstrates a willful ignorance to the pressing threat that climate change poses. among the most egregious reductions and eliminations are millionion of over 300 for the hazardous substance superfund, the elimination of over a dozen regional programs, including the long island sound geographic program, and a nearly
50% reduction in scientific research and development. responsibility to safeguard our planet and in sure our children and grandchildren have a healthy future. short ofet would fall this obligation. i do hope that congress will reject in a bipartisan way this dangerous budget and instead adopt spending bills that would interest in combating climate change, keeping our air and water clean and creating jobs, creating jobs for the 21st century economy. especially green jobs of the future. thank you, mr. chairman. pruitt, thank you for being here today. you are recognized for your opening remarks. morning.
it is good to be here with you this morning and i thank you for the opportunity to discuss the epa's proposed budget. is hollye at the table greaves, senior advisory to me on budget. i want to join you in expressing prayers for our colleagues after what happened yesterday. i pray for the recovery. within the budget being the focus of our discussion today, i tought it important to note bring agency back to its core mission. as part of our back to the basics agenda, we are focusing on air quality, clean water and fixing our outdated infrastructure, cleaning contaminated land, and important updates that congress passed last year, getting rid of the chemical backlog.
when i began at the agency, i said three core principles i which we were going to make decisions. the first was the will of law. an approach that one can simply reimagine authority. agencies that federal work for congress. any action by the epa that exceeds the authority granted by congress, by definition cannot be consistent with the agency's mission. along with the rule of law, we're focused on process. beeness the agency have focused on consent decrees and other things. we will make sure that process is respected and implemented for the people across people -- people across the country to have a voice. finally, we are emphasizing the importance of respecting the
role of the states. you know a one size fits all strategy to achieve environmental outcomes does not work. what works in arizona may not work in tennessee. states have unique needs and i can tune you do -- i will continue to have discussion with you about how these outcomes can be achieved. i believe we can fulfill the mission of our agency with a trim budget feared we will work with congress to help focus on national priorities with respect to the resources you provide and we will continue to focus on our core missions and responsibilities, cooperating with states to improve air, water and land. clean air goes to the heart of human health. are focused on compliance and enforcement. we of benjamin's progress as a country through significant investment, regulations and industry and citizens working
together. some of the pollutants we regulate have dropped my 55%. ozone levels of dropped 33%. we should celebrate this progress but also recognize there is work to do. presently, about 40% of our citizens live in nonattainment with respect to ozone. we do have much work to do. it should be the focus of the epa to increase the number of people living and working in areas that meet standards. the president has made clear that maintaining infrastructure is critical for the country. at the epa, that means investments in drinking water and wastewater and construction. these efforts are integral because it can reduce the need for additional water treatment and unnecessary cost. i believe we need to work with states on what they think is
best to achieve these outcomes and what actions they are already taking to do so. the epa should only intervene when states demonstrate unwillingness to comply with the law. willminated land, we punish that actors, those who violate the law to the detriment of human health. gotten -- has enforced these programs. we will focus our resources on direct responsibilities. when we do not fit within the law, we create inconsistency. regulatory certainty is key to economic growth. we need to outline what is expected across the country, because when we do our job well, we create good environmental outcomes. members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to share briefly these priorities and i look forward to working
with you as we move forward in this budget process to ensure we have clean air, land and water. i look for to your questions. >> thank you. thank you very opening statement. the forward move to questions, i would like to remind committee members we have a full committee markup of the mill, built scheduled for 2:00 this afternoon. 1:00, ih hearings by encourage members to abide by the five-minute role for questions and answers today. simpson needs to leave by noon to go to our friend's funeral. if it is ok for the other members, i will acknowledge mr. simpson. >> i think that is appropriate. >> thank you. i have a couple of specific questions. one of them is, the epa has
jurisdiction oversight on pesticide review processes through the office of pesticide programs. lester, congress passed the pesticide registration improvement act. in recent years, we have seen lower levels of funding leading to an erosion of timely reviews while on the positive side, it was not cut as much in this budget as other programs within the epa. the president budgets proposes to cut well below the congressionally mandated minimum. with a strong office of testify industries what has access to essential crop protection tools. how can we ensure they have the revenues to run effectively and a timelines in your budget proposal? >> you're right, the budget is not increase budgets for pesticide. it expands the scope of activities, but the
reauthorization is important as we head into this budget discussion. i mentioned in my opening comments that the update lester, there were three new roles issued this year, they are on track. oftainly, the backlog chemicals that existed when we came into this position, when i came into this position, we're going to have a backlog of chemicals entirely addressed by the end of the -- and of july. that was a priority when i came into the position. we have reassigned teams to focus on that. worked of my team have very diligently. your question is very important. these fees are necessary for us to carry out these important functions. i agree with your assessment. >> one other program proposed to budget,nated in this
the previous administration proposed to eliminate it, as well, and we have kept it funded at about $12.7 million, that is the rural water protection assistance program. there are many rural communities that don't have the access to technical assistance for their water systems and so forth. the technical assistance program is very important to these communities for being able to get that assistance. they would not be able to afford it otherwise. watern you look at structure, it is clear that in rural communities that the partnership that has existed between the epa, the u.s. government and those communities is important to ensure safe drinking water. however to work with you on that issue. >> many western states face undue hardship from overreach or federal regulations. proposed financial assurance role for hard rock mining, the arsenic standards low background levels in many western states,
and the regional hey standards, i am pleased the ministration has taken steps to provide relief from the assurance role. it is appreciated in my part of the country. western states have had a very hard time getting the epa to approve state implementation plans. instead, epa would overrule them and impose a federal implementation plan. how do you view the eps role in working with states on these issues, what can we expect, and what is your stance on the arsenic issue? >> this is important as we look at the statues congress has enacted. the partnership you put in the statute, in my estimation, have been disregarded. it is not particular to one administration, it has just involved in that direction. gave -- a gave states the ability to partner with the epa.
we're making sure this is being timeframe. an ample we have a backlog. i mention the chemical to. we have a backlog of over 700 state implementation plans is not been responded to by the agency. that is unacceptable. we need to provide input to the states across the country on what they have submitted in every category and provide answers in that regard. he will work diligently to achieve that. >> thank you, i appreciate that. >> thank you. you very much feared administrator prewitt, the budget proposes to eliminate the endocrine disrupting program. it is called the endocrine disruptors program. are you aware of it? >> yes, ma'am. i'm happy to discuss
appeared. the epa screens pesticides, chemicals, environmental contaminants to determine potential effects on human hormone systems. also, reproduction function in males and females, abnormal growth programs and neurodevelopmental delays in , increased incidence of breast cancer and changes to immune function. i knew someone who recently passed, i would not be surprised if hearing cuts in this program, she comes back up to talk to us. her work changed the way we consider chemical safety. because of the endocrine disruptors gerst, bpa is banned p's havebottles and pc been dredged out of the river. this is an example of senseless cuts that will cost us more and the long run.
it will cost us and treasure and possibly lives. we have so much more to learn about what chemicals in the environment are doing to us. how do you justify eliminating funding for this program? aren't you alarmed by the link between chemicals in the environment and consumer products and changes to hormones, health and development of people and animals? what should epa's role be? >> and to share your concerns. as we studied this proposal, our hope is we can absorb the and withinunctions the office of -- within the existing office we have. testing models to achieve that. you raise a very important question. it is something that the program
, it was established in 1996, it had a significant impact and it is something that as we study the proposal and talk with congress, this is our approach presently, but we look forward to your input on how this could be restored or dressed in a different way. >> that is great news. i won't even ask my next question. want to thank you for your consideration, this is such an important program. i do hope that you will address all of our concerns today so , so that wecontinue can continue to have an epa that protects us. , ia mother, grandmother really worry about issues like this, and it would be so irresponsible if we don't continue to move forward. thank you so much, thank you mr. chairman. >> if i could. office i indicated, the updates congress provided last year, the work that is been going on in the chemical office has been extraordinary since i
came into this position. there was a backlog that i mentioned to you on the new chemicals. they worked extremely diligently to address. is going to be 120 days that the entire backlog is addressed. i think that is a good message to such a country that it is a priority. i think it also provides certainty to industry that is new chemicals enter, we will do our job and provide confidence in and efficiently. i am delighted to hear about the focus on efficiency, but why would you recommend cutting the endocrine disruptors program? >> out objective and goal is to address it in the way i have shared, and i look for to working with you in that regard. work togetheran and make changes into these recommendations. they do. >> chairman of the full
committee. have not made acquaintance, it is a pleasure to meet you and i want to thank mr. colbert for the time. pursethe power of the here on capitol hill. we obviously respect the proposal for your department, but ultimately it will be this committee and arsenic counterparts that will determine the final outcome. i share at times some of the at yourhat is aimed agency by a variety of different and i share some of that frustration because of the huge bureaucracy, but i have succumbed from i think the nations most densely populated state, new jersey. we are home to a historical background which shows us to have more superfund sites and
any other state in the nation. i'm probably one of the few members of congress that highlights our history. i visit the sites in my district, i work for a closely for the new jersey department of environmental protection, and you have a good team comes out of region three in new york. i know there has been a proposal here to reduce substantial funding for this program. i think you are aware that 70% of the program, money for the pollutersmes from the . -- polluters pay about 30% the polluters figured about 30% comes from the american taxpayer. i would like to say is good to move with caution before you take too many dramatic steps. this area of superfund is absolutely a priority for this
administration. there is a significant amount of our two -- opportunity we can achieve for citizens and cleaning up contaminated sites. as i've gotten into the agency and evaluated the portfolio, if you look at the roughly 330 supervisor chris -- superfund sites across the country, many have been on the priority list for decorates -- for decades, languishing for leadership and answers on how we will remediate sites. one example i have highlighted is outside of st. louis, the westlake facility listed on the national priority list in 1990. it is unique in the sense it has 8000 pounds of uranium coming up -- times, 38,000 solidng, 8000 tons of waste. it was listed in 1990, he we are 27 years later and there is not been a decision on whether to cap the site or excavate the
site and remove the uranium. that is poor leadership. it is not serving the citizens in the st. louis area or this country. what we are doing is renewing our focus to provide clear direction on how we're going to remediate and achieve good environmental outcomes. funding could be an issue. it is something of a court to talking to congress about. you indicated that the circle statute, the objective is to hold responsible parties accountable and make sure they are responsible for the remediation effort. we're going to get accountability and certainty on the clean up and make sure timelines are met as we try to get sites cleaned up. issue, forbecomes an orphan sites, for example, we will address this with you and make you aware of the concerns. >>, i look forward to working with you. we have a lot of people in a narrow space and we are
committed to clean air and clean water. this is one of the issues important to our entire delegation. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. -- mr. pruitt,, i take your sincerity in answering the question about wanting to look into answering the question about healthy --ocrine disruption is disruptors will be funded in the future, but i am quite baffled about how you will have any tools in the toolbox to do that. once again, the epa is reduced below 2017.ion, 30% endocrine disruptors, zero dollars. radon, zero dollars. super funds,/. slashed.ld, you could have a conversation with the same these things are
going to happen, but i don't see how it can happen and we are cutting the epa's overall budget by $2.4 billion. ban,xample, the pesticide which i mentioned in my opening everybody says the name differently because nobody knows how to say it right. it is important when large how to say it right because this chemical is very dangerous. in december of 2014, the epa completed a risk assessment. it was highly sophisticated and thoroughly reviewed. i-97 one of your goals is will of law, but i think when science is looking at what to do about pesticide and toxins in our chemicals, they haven't do not harm as their first goal. the epa determined that there is serious concern for long-term health in neural development affects as a result of the needle and possibly early life
exposure. not come upould with any level that was safe on this auction, and they come up with some toxins they do find safe levels that. they could not find any safe level for this. i'm curious to know. how did you come to find yourself disavowing going backwards, not looking at any of peer-reviewed on this pesticide, and how my going to have confidence that the best do not was used, that we harm to women that are pregnant, we do not harm to children that are born with possibly having toxins lingering in their system? >> you mentioned several programs you were concerned about, superfund and others.
i think some of those programs from a management perspective would be easier for us to address the proposed cuts and others. with the superfund program as we were just talking, 70% of that portfolio approximately is privately funded. and, you know, we've collected over billions of dollars since the inception of the program to address cleanup. my estimation at this point on that kind of program, ranking member mccollum, is it's more about decision making, leadership, and management than it is about money. that's that particular program. there are others that you've cited it may be more funding than management and leadership. with respect to the decision on on the pesticide, the usda had a completely different perspective. and in fact had made the epa aware of that. the process was ongoing. and we based that decision like we base every decision. it was based on meaningful data, meaningful science. it was a decision we felt was
merited based on that. >> could you provide this committee with the pure science from the other agency as well as the science from this agency? >> the usda -- we'll provide that, yes. >> i want their peer-reviewed science from a comparable scientists, not someone's opinion. ok. can you go back, though, and with the cuts that i mentioned and with the questions that you're being asked to, you know, will you stand up and make sure peer-reviewed science is happening, with the custard over 3000 employees, how does that happen? i mean, i can wish for a lot of things, but in reality i have to figure out how i make those things happen with real dollars, real employees. so you told me rule of law was your first and foremost concern.
i have to tell you rule of law is very important, i'm a person who obeys the law. but the epa's mission is to protect public health first and foremost, in my opinion. do you disagree with that? >> not at all. i think with respect to the science at our agency, it's important that we prioritize the mission of those respective offices in so far as how we're going to use the science. the science should be in support of rule making. the primary function of the epa is to carry out statutory requirements and mandates that congress has required. from the clean water act, the clean air act, and across the board. and engage in rule making and statutes. >> so does this go to the change that's happened on the epa's website? before january 30th, 2018, standards were science based, peer reviewed science, safe levels of pollutants. that language has disappeared from the missions statement.
and now it states what is economically and technology available standards. so that's a significant change for me. is that what you're talking about? >> no. what we have a responsibility to do in rule making is build a record, make decisions on science to those across the country that engage in the apa process on how rules will impact them. and that's going to continue. and each of our respective program offices from clean water to clean air, the air office, across the board. science is going to be key to what we do. it's going to be key to informed rule making. each of the program offices actually have scientists embedded in those program offices as well. so the proposed cuts, we are going to be able to carry out our core mission of supporting rule making that's based on sound science and peer reviewed and based upon real data that is not monitored but actually collected.
excuse me, is monitored and collected. >> thank you, mr. chair. i know others have questions. i have two other questions i need to get to later, but at this point i will feel that my time. >> i thank the gentlelady. next up, mr. rogers. >> thank you. welcome to the hearing. most people don't know that the director, the administrator is a native kentuckian. native of danville, kentucky, and a graduate of georgetown college in georgetown, kentucky. then ran off to oklahoma. where he was educated in tulsa in law school. but welcome. and we're proud of you, mr. pruitt. >> thank you. >> i want to talk to you about the culture of overreach in that agency. time and again, federal courts
have held that the agency was overreaching its legal authority. engaging in activities that are not authorized by the united states congress. and that became a practice that repeated itself time and again. but it had devastating impacts on certain parts of the country , including mine. in the coal fields, where the war on coal led by the epa resulted in some 10,000 or 12,000 miners losing their jobs in their home in my region alone. so we don't take kindly to that type of thing. what will you be doing to change the culture of overreach in that agency?
where the employees both career and political engaged in overstepping their authority time and time again. what can we expect? >> well, the ranking member made reference to this as well. and i think that when i mention rule of law, it's not intended to be something that's academic at all. it has real -- when you disrespect rule of law and what that fundamentally means, when by take statutes passed congress and act in a way beyond that, it creates uncertainty. we can go from clean power plan to others. subject to stays by the u.s. supreme court in the six circuit respectively. what that creates in the marketplace is uncertainty to know what's expected to achieve good environmental outcomes. it is not intended to be academic, it's intended to be practical.
because when the agency carries out its functions consistently with the authority provided, those types of lawsuits go away and you can actually provide the kind of certainty to citizens and working together to achieve good environmental outcomes. so when i mention that, we're going to stay within our lane. we're going to stay with authorities and if you've not given authority to the agency, we're not going to reimagine it. we're not going to create it. we're going to let you know when those deficiencies arise. if there are concerns that we have as far as being able to carry out responsibilities on the superfund program, and we think there's a legislative response necessary, we will advise you. and because we need the help of congress to achieve these environmental outcomes as well. >> and what about your staffing size? in your budget request you indicate quite clearly about the reduction in personnel. can you elaborate on that? >> well, i think with respect to the proposed cuts on personnel, that is something that we
planned to achieve through attrition, continuation of the hiring freeze, and the initiation of buyouts. about 20% of the agency is eligible for retirement today. that's going to increase over the next several years. as you know, we talked about in this budget of having 25,000 per employee that seeks to retire. that's how we're going to address the proposed cuts to personnel. about half our employees are in the regions across the country, half the employees approximately are in washington, d.c. the regional concept is very important because you want to offices dispersed across the country partnering with states and those across the country to ensure that we're working together in a partnership format. so this regional concept is important, but as far as the personnel reductions, those are the steps to reduce the proposed budget. >> thank you. >> mr. keller.
>> thanks, chairman. and thanks for being with us. good morning. i appreciate the chairman's comments and the ranking member's comments at the opening of this hearing, raising concerns about the proposals and production for human health. orould spend five minutes 500 minutes talking about the concerns i have in that regard. and i have five. but my hope and expectation is the committee will do better and do that in a bipartisan way. i'm not going to ask you to defend what i consider to be indefensible proposals. i want to talk about a specific issue. my colleagues have often talked about the role the epa plays in effecting local economies. in my region, we want the epa to be in aged in -- engaged in an economic, environment issue. we cannot afford for them to check out on puget sound recovery. we have 3200 people whose livelihoods are tied to shelve
this -- shellfish growing. they depend on clean water. they depend on puget sound. he talked about going back to basics, and part of that is a focus on clean water. they depend on that and this budget jeopardizes that for them. themarine industry supports seafood industry, billions of dollars of revenue, over 57,000 direct jobs in our region. tourism and recreation dollars. people come to our region to hales.to see wales they depend on a healthy puget sound. it has a direct impact on the economy in my state. republicans, business leaders, conservation leaders all agree on that. every dollar invested in puget sound leverages $24.
if the administration is committed to growing the economy and bolstering jobs in rural areas, that is not reflected in this budget. you have said this is a back to basics approach intended to return responsibility to states. i want to remind you of the obligations of the federal government in this regard. there are 19 drives with a treaty reserved rights to fish in puget sound. you acknowledge that obligation? >> yes. >> there are multiple federally protected species including orcas and chinook salmon that call the sound their home. do you acknowledge the presence of these protected syria -- protected species? >> yes. there was an application for a no discharge zone for the entire puget sound. i'm very somethingic and sensitive to that application because of the things you are describing. so there are mandate under the clean water act's, do you
agree that these are part of your agency? >> absolutely. >> so listen, i'm all for partnership with the states and i agree with the fact that there isn't one size fits all, but my question is this. why should states and rural communities be stuck holding the back for the federal government? >> they shouldn't. and that's something as we've seen over the last several years, this cooperative model. this goes back decades. to achieve outcomes, we need to rely on the resources of those at the local and state level. at the 80 -- but the epa has a very important role. there are responsibilities you have identified that are statutory. we will carry out those responsibilities along with the states to ensure there is a partnership. literally my first weekend after democrats andad republicans in my office on a
sunday. how do we achieve the things we need together? they said to me, thank you for listening and having -- so we can have a voice in the process. we can learn that we should not advocate responsibility. we will not advocate responsibility. >> but the budget produced zeros out funding to support this effort. >> more specifically which effort. >> puget sound recovery. >> as i indicated, the puget sound application for no discharge is something i'm very interested and concerned about but also the grant program, it is similar to others. the great lakes initiative, the long island initiative engine earlier. those are important parts -- partnerships that have existed a number of years. as we go to this process, i want to work with you to achieve outcomes in those areas. >> i would just emphasize, it is important that the federal government not leave states holding the bag. you look at state agencies.
you know, between a quarter into third of state agency and environmental agency budgets depend on federal support. at don't know how we can expect things to take on more of your agencies obligations with less money. >> let me say too, we need to also recognize that with respect to sipps, we were talking about this earlier, a backlog of over 700, where six have done their job, where they actually submitted to the agency claim to achieve that are air quality. the agency simply has not responded. we can deal -- do better in many areas. >> i yield back. >> mr. joyce. >> thank you, mr. kevin. welcome again, mr. pruitt. i'm a little bit concerned also about the impact of the mulvaney budget on the effort to clean up the great lakes and leverage them as an economic asset.
i said that in just, having been example,member -- for in ohio, 3 million people received drinking water from generatesand tourism more than $14 billion in spending annually. 40 million tons of cargo are shipped annually through ohio's eight authorized ports on lake erie. our great lakes delegation has strongly supported the great lakes restoration initiative did -- initiative. it has been highly successful. has made real progress in solving some of the more serious problems facing our lakes. it is also helping communities revitalize waterfront areas, cleaning jobs for new economic development. we were able to have commercial building and recreational boating.
plus, this is not just about create -- correcting mistakes from the past but creating a brighter future for our shoreline communities. the mob any budget, if enacted, will cripple our efforts, hold the progress we're making and undermine the investments we have made today. inding has been instrumental implementing costly cleanup projects. this work would not happen without federal support, which has leveraged financial contributions from states, industries and communities. for the percent of the sediment cleanup has been provided by nonfederal partners. cleanup projects will continue forward with this budget. other programs would not be possible. it is clear that funding is critical to restore the great
lakes. equally important is the epa's role of coordinator. the leadership is indispensable problems that cross state and national borders. providing technical support, establishing science-based goals and managing binational efforts with canada. epf has played this role. willou explain how this continue if it is illuminated? -- eliminated? >> thank you. -- the body for number of years has recognize the importance of the initiative. andwater quality objectives invasive species as well, we want to make sure the states affected, the commerce that is part of the great lakes, is
preserved, and we address that going forward in this budget. >> will the great lakes interagency task force and great lakes advisory board be maintained? >> i think, congressman, as we go through this i think what's important is to recognize the priority of the initiatives that have been historically prioritized by this body. we're going to work with you to ensure those priorities are addressed in whatever form it takes. >> will the cost share approach to cleaning up contaminated sediments under the great lakes legacy act continue? >> i think from a state perspective, we've talked to many of the governors that are impacted by these issues and we are engaged in discussions with them on how we can have a shared approach, a more vibrant, shared approach. as far as the funding that has been proposed to be reduced or eliminated under this budget, i will echo what i earlier share, we recognize the importance of the great lakes and the
importance to the citizens in the region and we will work with congress to make sure the objectives are maintained. >> i can appreciate the fact your agency has provided the leadership in what i think is the way government should work. agencies all working together on a common goal, showing information and getting to an end result. the money we got was over a. of years -- was over a period of years. the agencies will not have to worry about the stuff-stop approach, not knowing if money is coming in next year, so why start research this year? from the 1970's until now, the great lakes has made a tremendous difference. your agencies leadership in that is tantamount to making and happy -- happen. >> you said it well in your summary and comments. it's the money but also the facilitation. it's the coordination that the agencies provide historically to stakeholders, private as well as states.
we recognize that and continue it. >> simply put, the mulvaney budget appears to largely remove the federal government as a partner in all our work to resolve and manage the great lakes. is that fair? >> i think there are functions that the agency can perform outside of again the funding and or appropriations we've cited some of those. as an example, the chesapeake bay, that is an example of states coming together to address nonpoint source. the management facilitation in that area, i think it is similarly true to the great lakes area. important,oney is but a think the leadership role is important, as well and that will continue. >> it's not just lake erie of which we're proud, congresswoman capture will follow up on questions regarding this. i don't view the great lakes as a series of lakes, i view it as a national treasure. significance,onal is it fair for states and local communities to shoulder the burden of caring for them?
>> we view those states as partners and stakeholders and will continue to view them in that fashion as we go forward. it is important we show leadership and work with those agencies to facilitate good outcomes. >> i appreciate your moving up in line. i have exceeded my time. thank you very much for your time here. >> thank you. next, miss pingree. >> thank you, administrator pruitt for being with us today. it's my first chance to get to know you a little bit. i hope we can find ways to work together, although you've heard a lot of us have deep concerns about the budget. i hope he can course you to making changes to the budget. i need to say, like some of my colleagues have said, we certainly disagree with the administration's stance on the paris accord. i come from the state of maine, where people have a lot of concerns about climate change, and it has an effect on our lives every day. i also want to mention i was with a partisan group of
colleagues in germany a couple of weeks ago when the announcement was made. a lot of our colleagues over there were so shocked we would make this decision, and also worried they could not trust the united states anymore to keep with an agreement. i want to echo those sentiments. but i also want to get into specifics. sometimes we talk about environmental issues in a way that it's like environmental extremist against his nieces, but as someone who understands the environment and the economy working together, climate change to us is very real. it is not an environmental platitude. i live in a lobster fishing area. probably the highest lobster theings in the world are in area i live. i see lobster fishermen every day. they look at me with fear in their eyes, saying, what are we going to do? the ocean is warming, we're watching the migration of
lobsters up the coast, and once again to canada, they belong to them and not us. we don't get them back. we've seen the disappearance of the shrimping industry. industry andishing tourism, these are important to our identity and economically. i can go home and say to people, this is not really happening. i cannot say it does not exist. don't worry about it, it will go away. we may sometimes disagree on this committee about the cause of climate change, and doing something about it is critical and we cannot back out of these agreements. i also present a huge coastline, and with sea level rising, we may not see it like they do in miami beach, but we see it when people try to sell their home. farmersit is fishermen, or people on coastal communities, these are the people i deal with everyday and they are looking at this with fear and concern and saying to me, and i am saying to myself, what am i going to tell my
grandchildren if we don't do something about it? that is my first concert. my second, i feel like colleagues, i could go on for 500 minutes. there is the economic question for tourism states, fishing states, natural resource states, and maybe one size does not fit all, and i understand it is different when the fossil fuel industry is in your backyard, but i represent estate in the tailpipe of the fossil fuel industry. we have concerns about cuts in the budget in your approach to this. i'm looking for anyway a possibly can to work with you, but people in my area have deep concerns. your attorney general sued the environmental protection agency, that disagreed with these ideas and was head of the committee that got a lot of money from the fossil fuel industry. i want to take you at your word, and i want you to hear in my
state this is not work so well. oil dependentt state in the nation, we know how hard it is to get over our fossil fuel dependence. we are deeply concerned about cuts potentially to energy and dependents. we cannot have more solar and wind, we cannot have a healthy balance. we are deeply concerned about the rollback of clean air rules and cuts from this administration. we have one of the highest rates of childhood asthma. that is just tragedy, that's only people in our state have to do with the impact of being at the end of the tailpipe and dirty air coming to our state. tot do you think it is like see the highest rate of emergency room admissions because of asthma or to have ozone alerts in the middle of tourism season? we can't say to people, don't visit our state because the air is 30 right now. -- dirty right now. this creates a lot of uncertainty.
europe are a lot of our concerns, he said we should celebrate the downturn in co2 levels, those are because we have had higher fuel efficiency standards and because we invested more in clean energy. your budget does the opposite. it also cuts in your commitment to our state. we cannot leave states: the back. about 100 employees at our epa our study -- are funded by the federal government. we don't get that money back if you take away. tony's -- obviously i have piled on you with many concerns, but it is what i am hearing every day. -- i don't seere how corporation or efficiency replaces those employees you are about to cut. >> let me say first and look forward to us, as you indicated, working together. i appreciate you saying that. that is something i endeavor to come as well.
attainment issues, is a focus to achieve better attainment outcomes. you mentioned asthma. the two criteria pollutants we regulate, there are several, six, but two of them predominantly impact asthma, protect -- particulate and ozone. is better than any in europe, and i believe we're making tremendous progress to achieving good health outcomes for our citizens. i really believe we can do more. ien i say celebrate progress, just think we have to recognize we have priorities as a country, the successcognize we achieve, but it does not mean we stop. we work with faith to get better data, not model the data, but real-time data, and focus on compliance to achieve better outcomes. with respect to co2, i want to say to you, the president when he announced was dropped from a
paris accord, that something else, as well. he said he wanted to continue engagement on this issue. i just went to g7. i spent four days in bologna with my counterparts. we started bilateral discussions with respect to our continued leadership with respect to co2 production. that is another area we need to recognize progress being made. innovation and technology has wrought about a tremendous reductions,2 particularly hydraulic fracking and conversion to natural gas. what we should be focusing on as , we need toricity focus on using the latest technology that reduces emissions in a meaningful way and focus on leading the international discussion and
export that innovation. this is not a sign of disengagement. the president made this clear. we are going to approach from a way of real action to reduce co2. >> i appreciate your thoughts. and i hope it is not a sign of disengagement. and that we are in going to be continue to be focused on co2. i'm not at all clear how we do that if we reduce funding for all these areas. i hope you can continue talking to me about that. >> if i may, in this regard, it's very important that congress -- congress does not address this from a stationary source perspective. we have tremendous regulation in the mobile source category. the auto sector has taken significant steps to reduce admissions. -- emissions. when you look at the clean air act, i don't know how many of you were in -- were here in 1990, but never sue enacted that
it as0, they describe being a glorious mess. we have to ask the question of epa, and this is way mentioned this, we cannot just make up our authority. we cannot just make a processes to address whatever objectives have been identified. we have to receive authority in direction and process from this body. as we evaluate steps we will take of agency, it will be focused on what the tools are we have, the efficiency of the tools, and we will advise you accordingly. i think it is important recognize that. i just hope that we can discuss the clean power plan again. because that was about stationary clean air. >> i think the gentlelady. i'm going to recognize mr.
cole. i am going to briefly say that the clean air act is obviously very important to me and my state. as you know, mr. administrator, california was probably -- it was the first date to start cleaning up its own air. clean 1963, before the air act was in vision, california had only started stepping forward to clean up its air and step up with pollution roles. there is a history of bipartisan cooperation. jerry lewis, i congressman here, helped create it. there are a lot of concerns about cleaner, that was shared with my governor reagan i can 1966. california to deal with appeared -- deal with that.
one thing that is important in california is our waiver. we've had them over 50 years. i want to ask a question, you plan to continue the preemption waiver the agency granted to california? >> currently, the waiver is not under review. you're right, this has been something that has been granted. going that the beginning, to the clean air act, because of the leadership california demonstrated, it was preserved in the original clean air act. it is important we recognize the roles of the states in achieving clean air standards. that is something we are committed to at the agency. the waiver is not currently being reviewed. >> thank you. mr. cole. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i'm going to start with a point of personal privilege if i may, because i think i have no the administrator for longer than just about anybody on this panel.
he was -- i was one of many people who are sent to run for attorney general in 2009. he did that in to the job so well that nobody filed against him for reelection. i can just a sure my colleagues on the panel who may have disagreements over budgets or policies or what have you, but you will find that the administrator is unfailingly professional, unfailingly courteous, will look for ways to work with you, not against you. and will handle himself in an ethical manner. he has good people around him, as well. i see his chief of staff, i have known him a long time, too. he has a good team and will do a tremendous job. it is privilege to see you in this position.
i will show you in a minute how unkind i can be. [laughter] >> but i want to begin by congratulating you on the paris accord. we had a secretary thinking and here not too long ago testifying about his budget and he made a point sissy late that it was a bad deal for the united states. it just simply was, with all due respect to my friends. if it was a good deal, they would've put it before the senate and turn it into law. president obama chose to do that. it was his choice. had a successor with different views, it evaporated. commend the president for making it crystal clear that he is ready to engage, ready to sit down, but we will have to have a deal is better for the united states and american people than the one we had. they caught a lot of flack for it.
i am proud of the role you played and the advice you gave the president, and how able you have defended the decision. you clearly know your stuff, as you always did as a legislator and attorney general. very proud of you. now, that is enough praise. i want to congratulate you on one other thing. i can ensure you you will be the first epa administrator that has come before this committee and eight years and actually gets more money than they ask for. [laughter] >> that doesn't mean you will get as much as you had, but you will do better than you that's for -- you have asked for. my friend mr. joyce alluded to it, and the chairman and i were talking about secretary matus about the defense budget, and we understand budget wars. the decision was made, appropriate in my view, to plus up defense, and to take that out
of nondefense. president obama used to have a linkage of spending one to one. any increase in defense, we have to increase domestic. that is a false narrative. i think defense has a priority. there is no such relationship. it is just as false that everyone we do, we will cut one. you look at each individual function and try to make the right decision. your job is to do what you are doing. you work for the president, i would expect you to defend his budget. i suspect your -- i expect your private counsel may have been different. your calling, they did not agree with every decision, but when a decision is made, it is your job to defend it. restse final decision here. the constitution is clear, and i would never advise you about the constitution, you know better than i do, but in the end, we have the spending authority.
we will look at this. it is important we have the president's priorities, but at the end of the day, congress will make the decision and i think he will do better than you asked for. that might be a good thing. concerned, weam all have our particular areas of concern, but one of the common themes on the subcommittee is bipartisan cooperation on native american affairs. when i see the indian general assistance program cut by $2.5 million in ic state and tribal assistance grants cut by 678 million, and i see a $69 million cut for the clean water act, which has a section on travel guidance, it worries me. i want to ask this in a serious way. you talked about burden sharing, and that is fine. i think it is appropriate, frankly. no you will approach that seriously because i know who you are.
but there is a big difference between states and localities that have taxing powers and indian tribes that do not. they may or may not have revenue, but they cannot tax. we do not give them that power. when you make these cuts, how money,ey make up the particularly given the biggest recipients tend to be the poorest tribes in the most isolated areas with the most toolsd economic available, and with citizens that by any measure, in terms of economic opportunities for educational opportunities, employment prospects, are at the very bottom of the heap as a measure those sorts of things? >> first, thank you for your kind comments. and i have known the congressman for a number of years. is he a friend. he is someone a partnered with on many endeavors and he too is a serving the state of oklahoma
and his country in a wonderful fashion. i appreciate your leadership. with respect to the issues you have raised, i think is particularly important, with respect to roll communities in addition to tribal communities, as you mentioned, that we recognize the important role the epa plays and water infrastructure, their, facilitation and technical assistance. as we go through this process, i look forward to working with you to address those concerns. >> we will. again, i know you'll be open to that. we've worked on native american issues before in our home state. i remind you that as one of my colleagues preferred, these are treaty obligations. they are not generous grants. we have made certain commitments. containing those commitments in advancing the is something we are serious about. i will ask you one last question. it is not a question i know a great deal about it is something
that was brought up to me by constituents in light of this hearing. it is my understanding you are currently doing a review of life pesticide sold in something called roundup. in the past, he it has been labeled that -- it has been labeled that it might have carcinogens. i understand there is a new study that has not been released called the agricultural have study over at health and human services. for some reason, it has been held two years, and it comes to a different conclusion. i'm curious, as you do you review, could you look into that, and could you see is that study is there and make sure that your people as they make their determination, have access to that data? >> i will. and i will say that i've had interagency discussions with secretary purdue and secretary
price. it is important we collaborate and work together around these issues. >> ok. i appreciate that. thank you, mr. chairman. look forward to working with you. >> mr. stewart. thank you, mr.> chairman. and sir, we look forward to working with you. i know the people who know you have tremendous respect for you. i have to echo what was said about the paris agreement, that it was exactly the right decision. i say someone is serious about climate change and they really feel it is the existential , you cannot defend the paris agreement because it was not a serious document, it had no complaints, it cost trillions of dollars for every country except china. there was no enforcement mechanism. as i will get to in a minute when i get to my question, the negative impacts have impacts on
interviewi had an earlier and i said i felt the epa had its own on the throat of america. if not on the throat, at least put the boot on our chest. the sense of the regulatory overreach. i think many times people started conversation with me, they say you are a republican, therefore you don't care about the environment. i think it is a nutty premise. the reason i love out west is because i love to rock climb, ski, to look out over the mouse. i don't want to live in ozone and hayeze. note to my question. you know that while the country has made significant progress in reducing pollution, especially ozone levels, those of us in the west are kind of host by this thing.
downtown salt lake city, but also world parts of -- rural parts of utah. national parks. these are very remote places, yet they are out of compliance with ozone. there is not a thing they can do about it. it is not like there are factories or a lot of cars driving through their creating particulate matter. it is naturally occurring. the second thing, coming back to the paris agreement. said that 60%noaa of particulate matter is coming from overseas, which is why it for china to continue to 2060 well we have to be in compliance. these areas cannot be in compliance. there is not a thing they can do. the native americans living there 500 years ago with an out of compliance. will you work with osama?
that?ou work with us on you look at background ozone levels, our ability to measure with precision background ozone is important, because what we ought be focused on is the margin above the background. as you indicated, their communities across the country that if you took out all economic activity, it was still be nonattainment under the clean air act. that is something we are reviewing. we may need the help of congress to address that. we will advise you accordingly on the ability to baseline background ozone and focus on areas of of that that i think are important to address tame issues. one other thing, the crusted air pollution role and ability --
cross state air pollution role and ability to attain, you don't the one state committing to , tim in another state. you want steps in one state to address it downwind. that is an important objective we have as an agency. the agencies endeavored to do that in the past, and the crusted rule was stricken by the accords. we want to make sure that does not have again. you mentioned that it is an important priority. we don't want the process of one state contribute to the nonattainment of another. saying a,conclude by we don't want one state contributing to another nor one nation contributing to another , which is clearly happening. if you need the help of congress, all hope is lost. i am pessimistic about being able to convince some of my
colleagues. the narrative will be that republicans want to weaken clean air standards. that is not true. we just want to reflect the reality. >> it's not just air. you mentioned transboundary with other nations. it's also mercury in our fish. there are many issues around our environmental standards that we need more corporation, or partnership from our neighbors to the south and north. >> thank you. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. miss kaptur. >> thank you, mr. chair and also madam ranking member. i apologize for being late. we had a concurrent hearing which i had to be at. administrator prewitt, welcome. question, i want to follow on the excellent remarks and say, would you accept an invitation to travel east of the mississippi river to the great lakes and join congressman joyce
and myself with a bipartisan group of elected officials to discuss the compromised health of lake erie? >> it would be a pleasure. i spent some time in region 5 already around other issues, the super fund issue there in east chicago. we talked about great lakes initiatives. i look for to continuing this christmas -- the discussion. >> we'll make it convenient and make it easy. we will not serve you asian carp. we will serve you perch or pickerel. >> wall eye is better. [laughter] >> america really can't afford to shortchange our environment and human health. i would assume you share that belief. the budget submission, however, that is before us come is simply unacceptable, and cuts environmental protection, if adjusted for inflation, i over one third, and is the lowest
budget request we've had in 40 years. our part of the country is experiencing threats to the great lakes, the largest body of fresh water on earth. lake erie is the shallowest, so it is experiencing it first. it is the largest watershed in the great lakes. we have increasing population in her country, we are at 326 million. the world is 725 billion. they not making any more freshwater. we understand what environmental stress is all about and why the environmental protection agency is so important. we thank you for your service. in your confirmation, you committed to support the great lakes restoration initiative. the following questions you can answer yes or no, we make it easy. can you please clarify, when you said epa's 2018 budget submission to the white house,
did your budget leave epa with a $300 million in funding or the great lakes restoration doubttive whole or zero -- zeroed out? >> that process congresswoman, as far as the submission to the agency and the passback, that's something that it's been a little while since i've looked at those numbers, we talked about the importance of the great lakes initiative. >> i had a hunch. ok. your budget submission recommends also taking out $50 million of the glri's current fiscal year funding for 2017 that we just passed and giving it back to treasury. $50 million. does that mean you will not be able to complete work, you probably can answer this, to complete the cleanup of the area of concern at lorain, ohio, on the black river? that thee concerned
administration is going to zero out glri and take $50 million away from this year's budget, ont really could stop work an adjoining river that flows into the great lakes that was terribly damaged. >> yes, we'll look at the ongoing work with the particular focus on that area, congresswoman, and get information to you. but the precision that you are referring to, i think, is about $369 million, and the carryover typically there. that is not intended to be punitive toward the great lakes, it is an overall pass back for the entire amount. we will look at that particular area that you identified and make sure the ongoing work as far as contracts that have been left, that they can continue. >> thank you. we were guaranteed that would happen. that scared us. we've heard it is your intention to permanently shut down the
great lakes region five office in chicago and move it out of the great lakes to west of the mississippi river to kansas. could you confirm for me whether the epa intends to do that? >> that's pure legend. as far as the discussion about living, there's no consideration presently with respect to any regional offices being moved. that is something -- i don't know where that came from. i have visited region five. as i went into region five, there were media reports that somehow region five was going to be moved. that is not something we had discussed. it is not something currently under discussion. >> thank you. epa's second largest research lab is located in cincinnati, ohio and employs 1,700 scientists. since you are proposing a 33% cut in your science budget, this is mean you will conflict over
500 epa scientists in cincinnati? >> we will not. as i indicated earlier, the proposed cuts to personnel in this budget will be achieved through attrition. through voluntary buyouts. and through the hiring freeze currently in place. i think we have 20% of our workforce of retirement age and that number increases substantially over the next three to five years. >> thank you. i want to ask your help in a very specific situation. two years ago, and there is why we want you to come to ohio, toledo's freshwater supply was shut down over an entire weekend blooms that algae crept into the water treatment facility. the amount of money required to fix this tri-state, binational environmental threat is enormous. the responsibility for purifying the water should not the rest toledo, aity of community of 250,000 people that
sits inside the largest watershed of the great lakes of over 2 million people and about 11 million animals. furthermore, you should enhance the cleared lake erie is impaired, that ohio has not declared that lake erie is impaired. indiana has said nothing and canada sits on the other side. epa has incomprehensibly accepted both of the state level determinations, ohio saying nothing, michigan saying security is impaired -- lake erie is impaired, and indiana saying nothing. binational-state, and disputed body of water precisely where the epa is mandated to take action? >> it's my understanding the evaluated theot waters of lake erie just yet. this is an area we are committed
to working with all states. the interagency working group, we understand the importance of discharge into the waters. it is important we provide facilitation and technical assistance as we work with them. it is important we work together in that regard. >> i will tell you this and end with this. the cuts that you have recommended to glri whether it's owing the -- omb or some of your advisors, on top of the cuts to act, ohio will have a 30% cut to its budget from the one of six cut, and -- 106 cut, and with the lack of
clarity on what we can do to handle this massive water threat, this is why we want you to come to ohio. >> i look forward to visiting with you. >> thank you. >> thank you. mr. jenkins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. administrator pruitt, thank you for being here. thank you for your new role. a lot of very nice things have been said about your agency. i want to associate myself with those compliments. a couple of quick things. -- heard have heard it clearly around this table, we all appreciate and love clean air and water. in west virginia, or mountains mounds and force are second to none. we are an energy state. we are also the human resource state was the hardest working people i would put up against anybody in this country. your predecessor and the prior
administration did everything it could to put west virginia out of business. to put west virginia out of work. my colleague from washington worrying about his 3200 employees from puget sound at risk of losing their jobs. in west virginia, as a result of the prior administration, we did lose over 10,000 direct jobs of coal mining. good jobs. we put so many people on the unemployment line because of the actions of the prior administration and the prior epa administrator. so, as chairman frelinghuysen mentioned a minute ago, the power of the purse. i know i have been working here in this committee to try to use the power of the purse to influence.
the direction and the work of the epa and the policies and i simply want to say thank you for creating signs of hope and opportunity for the hard working people of west virginia. we do have coal mines that are opening up. we have got people going back to work to create a sense of hope and opportunity in their lives. so i want to thank you for that. a couple of questions. number one, i just want to make sure it's clear for all to hear and see and listen. does this administration make it a priority of having an all of the above energy policy? >> yes, congressman. i think what's important is you look at how we generate electricity in this country. we need to have truly fuel diversity because as we have 1% growth in our gdp, there's not as much concern about grid as much concern about grid stability and grid security, but
as we see 3% to 4% growth, it's important that utility companies across this country actually have diversity portfolios in which to generate electricity. that includes coal. you can store, and this is important with respect to energy security, you can store solid hydrocarbons on site. there's only so much natural gas you can get through a pipe. if if there's an attack on the transportation system, it puts your ability to generate electricity at risk if you have a heavy reliance on any particular fuel source in generating electricity. like a business, having one client or two clients and if you lose that client, your business goes away. it's important that the american citizens know that our price per kilowatt compared to europe compared to other nations is very, very competitive. in fact, it provides us the ability to grow a manufacturing base and the stability of our grid is important. so our focus should be on using innovation and technology as decisions are made whether it's hydroor nuclear or coal or natural gas or oil in the
generation of electricity, we use innovation and technology to achieve the lowest emission standards possible in each of the areas we regulate under our program or otherwise. >> so this administration and you in the leadership role of the epa do see a future for coal. >> i believe it's essential that again, we have a very robust fuel diversity and how we generate electricity in this country and we already see the optimism across the country. you cite that. it is absolutely an all above strategy. >> three areas. clean power plan, wotus, 2015 ozone. in this subcommittee, thanks to the leadership of the subcommittee on cpp, we put riders in the funding bills to make sure cpp did not pursue further implementation under the prior administration. under wotus, we helped halt funding for implementation of wotus using that power of the purse. i proudly sponsored an amendment under the 2015 ozone and the
funding mechanisms through this process to bar the epa from moving the goal post. is the work we have done in this committee resonate and moving forward with this administration and the work of the epa understanding that we are matching up in priorities on those issues and others? >> yes, and let me say because there's been a couple of questions and discussion points about clean power plants specifically. i think it's important to recognize that with respect to wotus and cpp that the u.s. supreme court and the former -- excuse me, in the latter issued a stay against the actual implementation of the rule and you don't get a stay, as you know, from the u.s. supreme court or any court unless there's a likelihood of success on merits. the uncertainty that was created with respect to the steps taken by the epa to regulate under the clean power plan and also under wotus, the environmental objectives were not achieved. we're in the process of
withdrawing both the 2015 wotus rule in addition to the cpp that was issued as well and we will take steps on wotus, we'll have a final rule that will provide a definition for waters in the united states by the fourth quarter of this year, no later than the first quarter of next year because that's the job of the agency. congressman, i would say to you that goes to the heart of my comments in my opening statement. when an agency acts in excess or inconsistent with the statutory framework, lawsuits occur. it creates uncertainty in the marketplace and the environmental objectives that are focused upon are not achieved. >> one very brief new source review. we have a number of coal power plants across the country that would like to invest for improved efficiency, keep that baseload available, that grid security. i'm working with congressman griffith to develop legislation to bring some predictability for
those power plants that continue to operate that we can improve efficiency. i welcome the opportunity to work with you and your office. do you have any thoughts about reforming new source review to encourage investment to give the predictability our power generators need to make investments today knowing that the rules won't be changed on them in the future? >> it's a very important area because you have businesses and industry across the country that literally want to investment in some instances hundreds of millions of dollars in existing facilities to produce better outcomes on emissions but as they do so, it triggers new source performance standard requirements that disincentivizes that. we should work together to provide clarity, to encourage that kind of investment because it's good for the environment. and it's good to provide that certainty to those that want to invest to achieve those outcomes.
>> look forward to working with you on that legislation we're drafting. thank you. >> mr. amodei. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. administrator, it's good to see you again. i hadn't planned on this but i want to straighten something up that my colleague from the buckeye state had talked about. actually, region five isn't going to move to kansas. it's going to move to winimucken, nevada. but the water from lake erie when it's drained is going to be treated in kansas before it's delivered to nevada to facilitate the lake bed of lake erie. >> we haven't had this discussion. [laughter] >> i think that's yucca mountain. we are going to help you on that, too. it is all good. thank you very much. >> mr. administrator, i want to echo the comments of my colleague from the sooner state in terms of -- there's been a lot of discussion about the
budget and as a history guy, i think it's important to note that the congress has cut the agency quite a bit before you got there. and quite a bit recently in relative terms. and so speaking only for myself, i would expect to take those cuts into account and echo my colleagues' sentiments about you may be the first person to get more than you asked for because, quite frankly, as many people have made the point, nobody is standing on the rooftops begging for dirty water and dirty air and dirty soil and those sorts of things. i can't help but give a shout out -- and i hate to do this publicly, but referring to the budget by the name of the director of omb i think is beautiful and appropriate and if anything kind compared to what he probably deserves. so i think i like that in terms of giving you a pass on that. beyond that, i will tell you this. i've got some issues that i want
to talk. but we've had some success dealing with your agency through your liaison folks and with the folks out in region 9 actually. and so we'll look forward to getting on the calendar of the appropriate folks in the agency. and dealing with those specifically in the coming days. so thank you very much. i appreciate the fact that on several occasions you've made the point you're a process person and so when these things go forward, whether it's the paris accords or a rule that that due process that's supposed to go through there and the public opportunity is important stuff and when that is gone through, things tend to take care of themselves. thank you very much. i appreciate your help working with us on water from ohio and we'll talk with you offline. >> if i might, i really appreciate the reference to process and there's a reason why this body, why congress has said that the administrative procedures act sets forth very strict guidelines on how we do
rule making. that we introduce a rule, propose a rule, we take comment from citizens and states and industry across the country. and our job as an agency is to take those comments and respond to them on the record and make an informed decision as we finalize the rule. the reason that process matters is that's how you reach consensus. that's how you reach an informed decision that actually takes into consideration all the various regions across the country, the impact of a rule economically, the impact of the rule on the environment. when that process is not respected, it actually contributes to bad outcomes. so i mentioned that to you in my opening comment because it matters to i think the success of working together. and we're going to do that. and refocus our attention there. we shouldn't regulate the litigation. one of the things that was a very, very -- it still remains a very difficult challenge is we inherited a host of consent decrees. and those consent decrees sometimes change the very statutes that you have passed. time lines that you've established, substantive
obligations you have put in the statute. that the shouldn't be. you shouldn't have a court process litigation yield to a change in statute that congress has passed. so this process focus is something that i think will yield good outcomes along with the partnership that i've mentioned with the states but also that really key focus on what is our authority in meeting the timelines that congress has set. that's the reason the update that you passed last year is so important that we meet those deadlines, rules being out, put out. the rfs issue. oh'sv owes -- the rv supposed to much could out every november that provide certainty to the mark place. that has not been met in many years. we'll meet that deadline in november. i appreciate your comments about the process component and something that we take seriously. >> thank you. >> i want to restate something touched on by several members here that the budget cut to the categorical grants to states and
tribes by 40% is just going to be a nonstarter here. states rely heavily on these grants. so do tribes. even a report from the environmental council of states federal funds account on average 27% of state environmental budgets. that's over a quarter of state budgets. and i think it's really important to remember that states have the ability to return this responsibility back to the epa so we have to keep this partnership moving forward . you mentioned in closing up here as we're coming to the end about working together. so one of the things that i asked secretary zinke because sometimes there are things out there happening and people are talking about you know, no one's responding back to my letter. so if you could please tell me, is there a policy or a guidance you could share with the chairman and i on what we can expect for timely responses to both the chairman and i and other members of congress when we submit letters?
we're hearing that some committees are only going to respond to chairman. some are not going to respond to rank and file members. do you have such a policy and if so, could you share it with us? >> i appreciate the question because as i went through the confirmation process, i met with roughly 40 to 45 senators both democrat and republican. many of whom were not on the actual epw committee because i wanted to spend time with them and hear their concerns. since being sworn in, i've been on capitol hill multiple times meeting with both democrat and republican members. spend time with them and hear their concerns.it is my belief'b to respond and be all members of -- and serve all members of congress. and i look forward to doing so. i mentioned i actually was in east chicago as i indicated earlier. with senator donnelly on that very important super fund site that needs to be new leadership. that is something there's not a policy that recognizes majority
versus non-majority. >> i'll call you if i don't think i'm getting a timely response. another thing just in the news and i'm sure -- i'm not sure. i know you saw it. that there were reports that you failed to disclose an e-mail account you had while you were attorney general, the one that's firstname.lastname@example.org. and it's kind of distressing because at your hearing you said you only had two e-mail addresses and now this third one came forward. so you weren't completely accurate at the time. and senator whitehouse said that you've had several opportunities to correct the record on your e-mails. in fact, he has a letter that goes on to say it's been through public disclosure of your emails that congress learned of the relationship with energy companies that regulate the epa.
i want to -- for the record and you can get back to you, ask you what you're using for e-mail addresses as epa administrator, what other forms of electronic communication you're using because i want to build a level of trust between all of us. >> if i may, both in my oral testimony as well as -- there's a letter actually that i submitted to the epw committee in may that recognized multiple state e-mail accounts so there's been a consistency there. the representations that you are citing are not accurate so we have informed the committee. that was consistent with my oral testimony. we'll provide you information about current activities, as well. >> great. one of the things that has come forward and that i've been following is, you know, when you were attorney general you had a different job than you have now. and you had a lot of correspondence with devon energy who was aggressively challenging
rules proposed by the epa. you've sent a letter to the ep while you were ag in oklahoma urging that the epa overestimated pollution from natural gas wells and you -- the letter very closely reflected what lawyers from devon energy and this is also something that's been in the public. just last month "the new york times" has now reported that devon energy is re-evaluating the settlement posture for illegally admitting 80 tons of toxic chemicals. the company from reports is backing away from an agreement to install a system to detect leaks of dangerous gas and the company now, after agreeing and admitting that it had violated the law, is backing away from a proposed settlement which has a six figure penalty claim to back
-- back to the taxpayers down to $25,000. based on your relationship with devon energy when you were attorney general, how do you plan on handling this issue? are you going to recuse yourself? because now you're the epa. is someone else going to be looking at it? because as you said, we want to work together. and so i bring these articles up not to play gotcha politics but to create an honest and open dialogue about how the epa's going to be conducted so that we can work together. >> i appreciate you not making presumption, ranking member mccollum. i would say to you as far as enforcement is concerned, i talked about that in my opening comments. enforcement matters to me. you mentioned my time as attorney general. we had a grand jury i led, we had significant enforcement activities. i understand there are bad actors in the marketplace.
there are individuals and companies that discharge toxics and pollutants into our water than need to be prosecuted. they engage in fraud with the rent system. there are folks that violate permits with air attainment. i am trying to respond to your question. >> i know you are but same time you're painting one side of it. you filed multiple lawsuits against the epa. >> it is interesting that the lawsuits are topic of discussion. we won those lawsuits because the agency not acting within the authority of this body. the reason lawsuits were filed, 31 states filed a lawsuit against the epa for the rule is because they acted outside of their authority. the reason 27 states sued the epa under the clean power plan is the same thing. this body ought to be very jealous of any agency of the executive branch flaunting the frame work that you have established under any statute. >> thank the gentlelady. real quick, i'm the only person to ask a question so -- one
thing i wanted to bring up and i mentioned this up in my opening statement, the deer program. the agency noted that 10.3 million legacy diesel fleet engines are still in use. i also want to report the epa estimated over 1 million of the oldest and dirtiest diesel engines will still remain in use until 2030. the inland empire in california where i live is part of the south coast air quality district which i talked about before which is a nonattainment for ozone about as long as the federal regulation for ozone has existed. not for a lack of trying. as i mentioned, we have been regulating air quality longer than any other area on the planet. and implementing some of most stringent air pollution control measures. we have done all we can do pretty much. our issue is the amount of cars
and trucks and you mentioned mobile sources. that's the problem. and we also have two of the largest port facilities in the united states. port of l.a. and port of long beach, which is responsible for 40% of all u.s. container cargo in the united states. these containers are loaded onto trucks and travel through my district, the rest of the country and mobile sources contribute to about 80% of the air quality in the south coast region. of course, you know that part of california. i think there's about 20 some, 26 million, 27 million people who live in the los angeles basin. we have made significant progress in improving air control. however, largely due to the topography, large volume of transportation occurs in and around the inland empire. we need additional resources to continue to make the improvements. that's why we fund the targeted air shed grant program provide additional resources to areas across the nation that need help to meet air control standards. the same is true for dera
grants. as i mentioned in the opening statement, i appreciated the flexibility of the implementation of the ozone standard, because communities are just starting to work to meet the 2008 standards. the fiscal year 2017 omnibus directed epa to send a report to congress regarding administrative options for regulatory relief, states and communities attempt to comply with both the 2008 and 2015 standards. in response, epa has convened a task force as you mentioned to examine what options may be available. so my question real quickly is, in your opinion, how can we accelerate the process for some of these communities to reach their attainment goals? >> well, i do want to address dera for a second. i think it's a very important program. the gao has found a duplication with across federal agencies and
the mission behind it is right. and we believe it should be funded and i think this committee should get direction on how it should be funded. we are committed to the dera program and believe it's important, however you choose to achieve that. with respect to how do we improve attainment? i think a lot of it, mr. chairman, is restoring that joint cooperation through compliance and assistance, equipping those at the local level to achieve a better outcome, but i think some of it may be legislative. i do believe that addressing the issues of earlier with ozone is something that this body ought to consider and air attainment work is some of the best work for health outcomes and should be a priority of our agency working with congress to achieve those outcomes. >> thank you. as i mentioned when we started the meeting, we were trying to finish this by 1:00 because we
have a meeting for the full committee i have to attend so if any real quick comments or we're going to wrap this up. see none. i appreciate you being here, administrator pruitt. >> quickly? >> very quickly, mr. kilmer. >> thanks. i appreciate it, chairman. i'll keep it quick. my colleague from oklahoma and i our last hearing made i think a very thoughtful comment about the generational burden of debt. there's a lot of moms in this room concerned about the generational burden of climate change on the next generation. and the inability of our government to do something about it. i appreciate your -- i understand that there's going to be a difference on the paris climate accords. what i don't get is complete elimination of some of the programs that are not even mandatory. things like the energy star program. you know? there's a whole list of them in your budget. the natural gas star program which is a voluntary program to
reduce methane leaks. things like the combined heat and power partnership to promote use of wasted heat, saving both energy and water and reducing pollution. if you can just take a quick minute to help explain why -- >> i'm going to work with you to make sure that we address those issues. i suspect he has to defend his budget. but i'm going to work with you to make sure that we work with this. >> thanks, chairman. >> any other comments? without -- i'm sorry. i have to get to a meeting. i appreciate your attendance. we are adjourned. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
discusses security for members of congress. and washington examiners talk about congress and consealed carry laws. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" coming up at 7:00 a.m. this morning. join the discussion. >> new orleans mayor mitch land rue will talk about the confederate monuments in his city and the future of race elations in the u.s. >> next, a hearing on the recent global ransom wear attack and strengthening u.s. cyber security. the hearing was held by two subcommittees. the attack began on may 12 and infected more than 300,000 users in 150 countries. this is an hour and 50 minutes.