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tv   EPA Administrator CFO on 2023 Budget Request  CSPAN  May 5, 2022 6:53am-8:35am EDT

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is about an hour and 40 minutes. >> morning. this hearing will now come to order. this is a virtual hearing we must address it in housekeeping matters. new participants --mute
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participants microphones while eliminating background noise. members are responsible for muting and on reaching themselves. if you notice you are recognized or unrecognized and you have not unmute yourself, i will send you a request to unmute yourself. please accept the request. reminder that the five-minute clock still applies. if there is a technology issue, we will move to the next person. you will notice a clock on the screen that will show you how much time remaining. at 30 seconds remaining i will tap the gavel to reminded members that there time is almost expired. when your time is expired, the clock will turn to read and i will begin to recognize the next number. we will begin with the chair and ranking member, then members will be recognized in order of seniority and numbers not
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present at the time the hearing is called to order. finally, house rules require me to remind you we are set up in the knowledge just to which members can send anything they wish to it in writing. that email address has been provided in advance to your staff. ok. go ahead. the interior government subcommittee will examine the president fiscal year 2020 three budget request for the environmental protection agency. joining us this morning, michael reagan. it is good to see you again mr. administrator and welcome. before we start, i want to personally think both of you for your partnership in completing the fiscal year 2022 bill. i look forward to working with you again as we build our work on the 2023 bill. administrator reagan, i would like to think you so much for your business. i appreciate your insight and commitment to help not just with
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our issues but across the country. for fiscal year 2023, the president is requesting 11.9 billion for the epa. 2.3 billion dollars over the inactive level. in addition to this request, the epa released a strategic plan with seven clear and ambitious goals. for the first time this plan includes a goal focused solely on addressing climate change. it is also includes a unprecedented go to advance environmental justice and civil rights. i applaud you for taking on these two critical issues and i look forward to supporting you in these efforts. during this hearing come i hope we can explore further how this request can support your strategic plan in primary mission to protect human health and the environment. so far the budget requests include, increasing staffing, after years of decline to its highest level in decades. cycling the climate -- tackling the climate crisis head-on.
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taking decisive action so we can make significant strides in communities that have been underserved and overburdened. and building on the funding provided in the american rescue plan and the infrastructure investment jobs asked to fix our nations rumbling infrastructure and to address public health challenges that we currently face. i firmly believe it is achievable when it is resourced and staff. that is why our fiscal year 2022 bill provides the epa with a second largest increase to its budget in over the decade. $100 million which is the largest increase program has seen in the program's history the president request builds on the success of our fiscal year 2022 bill. i look forward to collaborating closely with the administration
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and president biden in achieving our shared vision in late and a more safer provision. >> thank you, madam chair. i appreciate today's opportunity to discuss 2023 budget proposal. welcome back administrator reagan. thank you for joining us this morning. congratulations on your employment. mr. reagan, i appreciate that you made a point to travel around the country, including my home state of ohio to manage core and environmental programs, make critical infrastructure upgrade and protect our national resources. a year before last year, i raise
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the importance of bringing equality. the epa is requesting additional $2.3 billion to seek over well over 1000 federal employees. seem to be moving in the wrong direction. right now inflation is at a 40 are high, gas prices skyrocketing, americans across the country are struggling to pay their bills. to create a vibrant economy today for kids and grandkids congress and this committee in particular cannot entertain spending levels. we have a duty to the taxpayer to work with and spending constraints, implement fiscally responsible policy and ensure every dollar we provide helps relieve emissions. i went to see if this focuses on funds to provide clean and
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safe water for our nation's citizens, support much-needed infrastructure improvements, revitalize contaminated areas and partner with states, tribes and local stakeholders to address environmental and public health threats, notably these programs make a substantial difference without the use of top-down heavy-handed regulations. these core investments are overshadowed by extraordinary funding levels to write regulations, hire more lawyers, push unrealistic climate boards and carry out a robust enforcement agenda, i will work to ensure the programs that have significant impact on states and localities, like technical assistance grants and regional water programs to increase the reserve. restoring geographic program dollars like those provided to the great lakes restoration initiative, protecting our nation's most valuable resources.
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i know firsthand now is not the time to take our foot off the gas especially when it comes to protecting the lakes, the gri investments for fy 22 ensuring the great lakes which provide clean drinking water to 28 million americans support 1.5 million jobs and generate $62 billion a year in wages are safeguarded from long-standing threats like water pollution, invasive species and coastal erosion. i have no doubt we have a robust policy discussion given what is laid out on the world stage with conflict raging in ukraine and the steep prices at the gas pump it is more important than ever we promoted all of the above domestic energy strategy. utilizing a large mystic resources to increase production bring stability to the marketplace, reduces energy costs, spurs economic growth and creates good paying jobs and puts america on the path to energy independence which is imperative to national security. i'm concerned this administration is pursuing an
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agenda that simply put undermines the american energy sector, fails to put american energies first and businesses first. rather than imposing burdensome and costly regulation, epa and federal partnership collaborated with the energy sector to leverage free market solutions, spur innovation and enhance emission reduction technology and increase energy production here at home, we and our allies will be forced to turn to foreign countries to meet our energy needs, i look forward to having a constructive conversation about how the budget can support governance of american energy. i also look forward to understanding how the agency is implanting cost-effective rules about making to help us protect the environment while providing regulatory certainty to small businesses, farmers and ranchers, we struggled to ensure the epa is doing its part to boost, not burden all sectors of the economy, thank you for joining us, and i look forward to working with the
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chair to provide the necessary resources to meet its mission of protecting the american people and our environment, i yield back. >> thank you for your statement. we would love to hear from you, thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you, members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the bold vision laid out in the us epa proposed fiscal year 2023 budget. we lay out an ambitious and transformative plan for the epa with the goal of a healthier, more prosperous nation where all people have access to clean air, clean water and healthy communities. president biden's proposed budget request for epa provides $11.9 billion to advance key priorities tackling the climate crisis, delivering environment of justice and equity for everyone, protecting air
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quality, upgrading the nation's aging water infrastructure, revitalizing our nation's magnificent water bodies, rebuilding core functions epa to keep pace with the growing economy. over the last year we made important progress towards many of these and i'm proud of the foundations we laid in partnership that underpinned our success but there is so much more work to do to ensure that all children have safe, healthy places to live, learn, and play, to build a stronger, more sustainable economy and to advance american innovation and ingenuity in ways we haven't seen, put simply, investing in epa is an investment in the health and well-being of all of the communities we serve. it is also an investment in the economic vitality of our nation but i had the privilege to visit many communities in your state and see firsthand the environmental and public health challenges many of your constituents continue to experience from unprecedented flooding to crumbling water
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infrastructure. i've spoken with mothers whose children have been lead poisoned, i've met with people who are living in toxic waste in their backyard and i've seen conditions that are simply unacceptable in the united states of america from investing in our nation's climate resilience to clean up contaminated land there's no shortage of critical work that needs to be done. members of the committee, epa is up to the task and ready to partner with you, eager to work with you to deliver and secure our nation's global competitiveness but we need your support. the urgency and economic opportunity presented by the climate crisis requires we leave no stone unturned, the budget invests $720 million towards tackling the climate crisis, and reaping the benefits that come with that, healthier community, good paying jobs and increased energy security. the communities hit hardest by pollution and climate change are most often communities of
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color, indigenous communities, rural communities and economically disadvantaged communities. for generations many of these vulnerable communities have been overburdened with higher instances of pollution in their air, water and land, this inequity of environmental protection is not just an environmental justice issue but a civil rights concern and the fiscal year 2,023 budget epa will expand on this historic investment made by environmental justice and civil rights to reduce the historically disproportionate health impacts of pollution in communities with environmental justice concerns. across the budget epa is investing more than one. $4 billion to advance environmental justice, cleanup legacy pollution and create good paying jobs in the process in those communities. across the country poor air quality affects millions of people, perpetuating harmful health and economic impacts. for the fiscal year 2,023 budget the agency will protect our air quality by cutting
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emissions of ozone from its pollutant particulate matter and air toxins. the president's budget includes $1.1 million to improve air quality and set standards to reduce pollution from mobile and stationary sources. a thriving economy also requires clean and safe water for all. progress has been made but many still lack access to healthy water, face in accurate wastewater infrastructure and suffer from the effects of lead pipes. americans water systems are also facing new challenges including cybersecurity threats, climate change and emerging contaminants like teapots. the fiscal year 2,023 budget positions epa to create durable environmental policy that sets our nation on a path into the 20 first century. it will allow us to meet the pressing needs faced by millions of americans and fundamentally improve people's lives for the better, thank you for the opportunity to be here today and offer this testimony
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and i look forward to our continued partnership and the conversation we are going to have today. >> thank you so much for your opening remarks and your service, we are looking forward to discussing many topics with you today which i'm going to start the questions myself and dive right into something that is quickly important to my state. i mentioned before that you were kind enough to come and visit us in the state of maine and you joined with me in a challenging meeting talking to people dealing with the front lines of the crisis around agricultural land in our state and drinking water and beyond. this is a growing environmental crisis for us and i imagine this is going on in many other states but perhaps is undetected. we continue to learn more about chemical health effects and more americans are becoming deeply concerned that their families could be at serious risk.
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along with billions provided in the infrastructure investment and jobs at the subcommittee has provided significant resources. i was pleased to see the budget request builds on his funding and continues a strong focus on research and regulatory action. can you talk about that little bit, give us more insight into the epa's current and future work on this complicated set of chemicals and also give us some ideas of how that worked ties into the agency's strategic roadmap? >> absolutely, thank you for inviting me to your district to have that important conversation. my decisions have been shaped by my personal experiences as secretary north carolina dealing with the crisis and the roundtable you and i had and that i held really are informing this sense of urgency around these chemicals so we are taking action. on october of last year i
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announced a strategic roadmap which lays out and all of the above comprehensive approach across epa's media outlets. since i announced that group we take action, we started a rulemaking designating as a hazardous substance, developing a national testing strategy to deepen understanding of the impacts of categories including potential hazards to our health and environment. we also started a rulemaking to establish a national primary drinking water regulations that would set and forcible limits and finalize the rule to undertake nationwide monitoring of p5 drinking water. we understand conditions on the ground differ and we serve an
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important role in setting a health baseline and better understanding but a majority of the resources that epa receives in our budget is passed through to the state so they can develop specific strategies on the ground most protected to their community so i would hate for anyone to walk away and look at these budget requests as epa inflating itself or growing tremendously. a good portion of these resources go to states that know their communities better than we could. >> thank you for emphasizing that because that is a could go point and i know our state greatly benefit and appreciate the way the funding is structured to make decisions for their own states but the most critical issues. i will yield back my time and recognize the ranking member for questions.
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>> thank you, madam chair. i am a supporter and i'm sure you are of advancing domestic recycling efforts especially given environmental and economic benefits, recycling scrap metal helps reduce pollution, limit waste and reuse of material. the epa support scrap metal recycling and if you and forced metal recycling technology applications more specifically metal shredder plants. >> we definitely embrace recycling and we actually have invested a lot more time and resources to support and focus on recycling within this administration so we recognize we can create some closed loop systems in our economy that we mind for precious metals anymore than we have 2 and also create efficiency in our economy so recycling is a top of mind issue for this agency and we invest in the resources
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to ensure we understand how we can tackle these problems. >> does epa understand the necessity of metal shredding plants that infrastructure poses a processor obsolete infrastructure, light bridges, roads, etc. as a provider of raw materials? >> we absolutely do and that is why recovering as much material and reducing as much waste as possible is a key part of the way we are looking at not only improving our economy but also strengthening infrastructure. >> and appliance shredding plants including plants that use the latest pollution control are hindered from operating, what happens to the 50 million vehicles that reach the end of their life annually. also the steel industry sourced the raw material to continue production and demand, the only alternatives i'm aware of our more mining, resourcing recycled steel from foreign countries like china. are those desirable solutions? >> the desirable solutions are
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the opportunities to let recycling facilities work to their potential to continue to increase economic development and jobs and contributing to our modern infrastructure. obviously any of these facilities whether it be recycling or petrochemical plant or any plant should be properly placed in any kind of situation where there are disproportionate impact to any communities especially communities that are already disproportionately impacted by other facilities and operations so yes, there's a role for recycling facilities who support that but those facilities have to be put in a place where they don't exacerbate or create problems. >> i take it from your into your billing to work with the recycling industry given their contribution. >> this agency has done that. we have worked with recycling facilities around the country. i think it is our job to be
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sure we balance environmental protection, public health protection and economic prosperity and we are working hard to do that has good partners and honest brokers in that situation. >> i recognize environmental justice is a key priority for the organization and the important to balancing economic justice with beneficial economic and environmental opportunities in impacted communities but this administration, environment of justice concerns always going to take precedence over established zoning policies in most major cities which seek conditions that others of similar nature? >> our goal is to partner with our governors, state secretaries and secretaries of health and environment and elected officials. it is my goal as administrator to provide technical support and resources so that communities, mayors, county commissioners, economic developers can make the best
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decisions they believe are appropriate, i hope we can continue to do that. i want to provide technical assistance and resources to locally elected officials to make the best decisions for their constituents. >> what cases should the industrial nature of certain areas be taken into account on equal footing with residential use? >> an opportunity for us to look at how we invest in our economy and growth of businesses without it being, my attitude is there are lots of ample opportunities for job growth and economic development but doesn't have to come at the expense of any one community so where we see disproportionate impact, predatory behavior, we look at sound science, facts, impact on humans and then we
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can govern ourselves accordingly. there are lots of ways we can situate facilities so we can be globally competitive and partner with the business community to choose the right places to do that. >> appreciate your time and madam chair, i yield back with no time. >> you can always have all the time you ever want. >> thank you, administrator regan for being here, i look forward to discussing toxic chemicals out of community drinking water systems. in my district in california central valley, we are dealing with ongoing contamination of the carcinogenic 123 ccp in its public water system, the water contamination was caused by a few mickens manufactured by shell oil co. and dow chemical company.
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california currently regulates it because it causes cancer but the epa has failed to regulate it on its primary drinking water contamination list. for decades the epa has declined to seriously regulate. with epa's budget of 2. $8 billion for clean drinking water why his epa failed to act on regulating and removing tcp from vulnerable public water systems? >> we are taking a very strong look at all of the threats to our drinking water, what are some of the conditional countrymen and erased with new emerging contaminants, no secret this agency was underfunded in the last administration and funding has been low for a number of years, we are really seeking the resources we are asking for for a reason and that is so we can do more and move faster. are scientists are ready come our programs are ready to take aggressive action to do the
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proper analytics required to protect public health and we have had to rely a lot on state leadership because traditionally this agency hasn't had the resources to do the technical analysis we need to move as quickly on all the rules people have raised to us so i will take this back to my team to take a look at where this regulation fits in terms of our analysis but we have a lot of challenging issues and that is why we are asking for these resources so that epa can be on equal footing to protect our public. >> the march 2021 final regulatory determinations for the drinkwater contaminant candidate list said it needed more data as an excuse for why it was not regulated at the federal level. that doesn't make a lot of sense to me because many states, california, new jersey, hawaii are successfully measuring and regulating, do you believe the tpp should be
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regulated by the us epa? >> i think our scientists have said correctly so that states can move faster in some instances than the federal government. we take very seriously our regulatory role and when we set a regulation we are responsible for setting a national regulation for 50 states. we have to take 50 or so states into account so this is why we have strong partnerships with our states, in some states we see certain vulnerabilities states can move faster and are doing a good job of protecting their community. in other states there may not be that threat so we try to prioritize these regular tory approaches and that is why you are seeing us approach this issue in the way we are. we want to collect all data needed to set up federal regulation that would be appropriate for the nation while complement in the regulations when he states decide to move forward on quicker and faster than the federal government can. >> thank you. the determinant of a year ago was -- a mistake and i
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encourage the epa to look at the seriously. one more question, with epa's budget and civil enforcement of polluters can you talk about the plan to hold large oil and chemical companies accountable for the contamination and removal of tpp from water systems they contaminated over decades? >> you will notice in this budget we are making a plea to get the resources we need, we've lost from industry sources on the enforcement side. i think a lot of our staff are coming out of a covid pasture ramping up enforcement mechanisms where it makes the most sense but we are woefully understaffed so in this budget you will see that enforcement is a strong tool i believe should be used where appropriate but we need to have appropriate inspectors and folks that can do the work and you will see, you are seeing a
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budget request for 2,023, we don't get the resources we asked for in 2022 we hope to get it in 2023 but if we want to see more enforcement of the laws on the books in a responsible way you have to have the resources to do it. >> thank you. i hope you can work together in removing toxins from our water systems, and the folks contributed the situation that we are dealing with in many communities like mine, thank you. >> absolutely, thank you. >> mister simpson, if you have questions this morning. >> thank you for being here today and talking about some of the subjects, look forward to the day we can sit down and talk person to person and meet face-to-face and discuss some of these issues. there's a couple i want to address, in this first round i will do with one of them, never ending debate that has been going on ever since i have been in congress and will be for the next 20 years, i hope not but
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it is a constant concern that i hear from my farmers and ranchers and business owners across idaho and across the country about the extremely broad definition under the clean water act. considering there's a case related to the scope of the clean water act pending before the supreme court, this case is expected to address federal jurisdiction under l o -- lotus, it seems logical that epa would hold off finalizing the rule until the supreme court has decided this case, however in front of the senate, the committee a few weeks ago you stated the epa will forge ahead with rulemaking despite the offending case. you talked about the resources you need, previous administrations underfunding, i suspect the previous chairman of the appropriations committee, me being one of them and some others, what we tried
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to do is right size the epa budget, not underfund it but this is an example of why is the epa wasting critical staff time and resources rushing through a rulemaking the supreme court is going to reconsider in a few months anyway, this is some of the questions about how the epa spends their money and maybe that is why some of the budgets haven't been as robust as you like, could you address that for me? >> thank you for the question, i was just in north carolina with ust agriculture secretary tom ville sack spending time with farmers and ranchers talking about this very issue and here's the reality, we proposed a rule last year that takes the rule back to pre-2015 decisions prior to president obama's lotus interpretation, prior to donald trump's interpretation, farmers and ranchers told me on the ground they need regulatory certainty
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and despite the trump and obama administrations there are still decisions being made that have farmers and ranchers in limbo so what we've decided to do is move pragmatically and say let's go back to pre-2015 before the last two rules were put into place, try to codify the decisions the supreme court has spoken to and box in some of the exemptions and exceptions that farmers and ranchers need right now. we know there is a supreme court case pending that will address some aspects but it won't address all. and won't provide some of the certainty our farmers need sooner rather than later because they are making decisions right now. we also believe if we move forward, we've done a lot of listening to our ranchers and farmers. we are going to ten roundtables hosting across the country being hosted by our farmers and ranchers in north carolina being hosted by the farm bureau
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and continuing to collect information and data, decisions are being made right now. we believe we can put a strong ruling place if we finalize it in a way that will complement and situate to move forward after we hear from the supreme court so we have to walk and chew gum at the same time. i don't believe it is a waste of staff time. i believe we have engaged with farmers and ranchers and ceos across the country for over a year and we want to make good on a promise we made which is provided durable rule which would give regulatory certainty sooner rather than later. >> appreciate that answer. i wish ranchers and farmers and others felt the same way. they feel they are being left out of the rulemaking process and you are right, it is certainty they want and going to pre-15, that was the problem. the uncertainty that was created. that is why the courts have ruled twice that you need to
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rewrite this rule to create some certainty in it so that people know what they are doing and it just seems like riding a new rule in the midst of all this uncertainty with a case before the supreme court seems premature now when we don't know, you spend time and money on this, i suspect the supreme court decides unless you have pre-knowledge of what the court is going to say that you are going to adjust the rule that whatever it is you write just seems like we are out of step in trying to do this but appreciate your comments and what you are trying to do. it is a frustrating problem for all of us. i come to the conclusion no matter what rule, there's more challenges, i don't know if this is an ever ending process and it is frustrating as hell. >> i appreciate that perspective and i think you are right there is a level of frustration we all share and i
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can tell you in our nest, the conversations we are having, continue to move forward with we finalize are not for the supreme court ruling, to continue to move forward we believe there's a lot of work, a lot of good work that has been done and we respect the supreme court's jurisdiction and we believe our rule would be in position to respond and adjust to the supreme court ruling in a way the process will be more advanced so as soon as the supreme court speaks we have a process advanced enough so we provide farmers and ranchers certainty sooner than we would otherwise. if we stop right now, discontinue the conversation, the roundtable we will lose a lot of ground and we won't be poised for success after the supreme court rules so we are trying to balance that an thread that needle but i can assure you it is in the effort to provided durable rule and certainty to our farmers and ranchers. i come from an agriculture state of north carolina, i spent a lot of time on this
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issue, i spent time trying to interpret the obama rule as state secretary and spent time trying to prepare for the trump rule and i can tell you on the ground neither rule provided the certainty that our farmers and ranchers are looking for and hard to administer because of the uncertainty. i'm sensitive to these needs and our farmers and ranchers and i hope we can work together on this. >> appreciate that and invite you to come to idaho and sit with a roundtable of people concerned about this and explain that to them. maybe we can set something like that up. i will save my next round of inquiry for the next round of questions when i yield back. >> thank you on that important topic. mr. cartwright, you are next. excuse me. good morning. >> i was highly offended.
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good morning all of the intrepid members of the interior subcommittee appropriations and administrator regan, great to have you with us this morning, congratulations on making us smile before 10:00 in the morning. that is an accomplishment. as you may know, i am from northeastern pennsylvania. my district lies within the chesapeake bay watershed for the most part. millions of people in my district depend on that watershed, millions of people in the chesapeake depend on the watershed for drinking water, jobs, seafood, recreation, lots more but for years as all of us know the bay was too early to swim or fish in and eventually
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the federal government stepped in to limit the pollution running off into the bay. we pennsylvanians are proud of our natural resources, we care about keeping them healthy and we want our families to have access to clean drinking water, we want to fish and swim safely in our streams, creeks and rivers, we want to leave a legacy of clean water for generations to come but here's the thing. cleaning up dirty water is not energy, it costs money to update our stormwater infrastructure and keep pollution out of our waterways and for too long homeowners and businesses in my district have been footing the bill for this work, talking about all kinds of people including retired senior citizens on fixed incomes footing the bill for stormwater infrastructure improvements. making local communities shoulder the burden alone to restore the watershed is not a
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fair solution it is not sustainable. since joining this subcommittee i have thought to increase investments in stormwater programs and secure northeastern pennsylvania's fair share of these federal dollars and here's the question, administrator regan, how is the epa supporting communities in their efforts to address stormwater runoff? >> thank you. i couldn't agree with you more and i believe that is why the president was so focused on the $50 billion infrastructure law. we see stormwater issues across the country and we know towns, cities and localities should not bear the brunt, we are looking for the opportunity to apply bill dollars across the country for stormwater. $50 billion for stormwater,
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wastewater, a number of infrastructure needs and that's not enough resources which is why in this budget you see the modest request we are proposing to help communities just like the one to identify stormwater is so important because not only do we want to prevent the runoff into our precious waters like chesapeake bay but we want to prevent flooding and economic disasters we are seeing from climate change playing such a crackle roll. we know the resources we are requesting for this budget coupled with bipartisan infrastructure lot resources will help communities like yours across the country. >> you mentioned the i ij a, you mention the clean water state revolving funds and that is what you are referring to. congress recently made the single largest investment in history with the i ij a, that
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law provided 11. $7 billion for the clean water state revolving fund alone. talk briefly about opportunities for stormwater management projects under this clean water state revolving fund investment. >> there are tremendous opportunities there. i will say of the $50 billion given to epa we all know there are 720s, to $750 billion of infrastructure needs as relates to water infrastructures so we do have a good shot in the arm through our state revolving fund and a few other financial resources we can leverage through programs at epa that will really come from some of the resources we are requesting from our budgeted that is the epa water infrastructure and resiliency finance center to help us think through how we make smart investments and leverage those resources, there are some grant mechanisms we believe we can add into the mix
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that complement the solutions on the ground, we are hang from communities like yours and other financing opportunities, we have to couple together all of epa's financing resources to solve this problem sooner rather than later. it is about preventing runoff, preventing flooding, creating jobs and also the economic totality of our communities. we should not continue to rebuild our communities in the same way and only have our businesses shut down in public health threatened because we can predict some of this and stormwater runoff is a significant contributor to that success. >> thank you, look forward to working with you on that, yield back. >> representative lee, you have questions this morning? >> i do, it is great to see you, administrator, you serve such a pivotal role right now at this time for our country
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and our planet and epa's budget requests site compelling and clear evidence of the changes to our climate reflected in rising temperatures, heat waves and wildfires which i come from nevada and clearly we've seen this evidence firsthand with the worst drought in 1200 years. the water labeling program is a public/private partnership that is not designed to make or encourage users to save water, choosing water efficient products and services and we see the difference this product can make in drought impacted communities like mine. to give a sense of how dire the situation is, just this week, the water levels in lake mead became so low that one of the intakes responsible for supplying the entire las vegas valley with water is now visible above the lay surface
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so this is long past an emergency so i'm asking, can you commit to continuing epa's long-standing support toward the effective and empowering water program? >> absolutely and appreciate you recognizing this program, this is a great example, these resources we get are asking for from you, really highlights up public-private partnership and one of the best programs that highlights community solutions so we absolutely want to continue to partner with you, great way to show how the government and our corporate citizens and communities can work together to solve local solutions. >> thank you and i want to ask, could you speak more broadly on how the epa is going to use the infrastructure bill to address
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the unique water infrastructure needs in nevada and the west? >> one of the great parts of the bipartisan infrastructure law, it doesn't inflate epa in terms of resources, it gives us the resources to pass through to the states, that flexibility is so important because as you know conditions in north carolina are very different than conditions in your state and we know that there are members of your community and elected officials that have solutions that are ready to go so what we want to be able to do is pass through the precious resources so we can hit the ground running, we should not provide academic solutions from washington dc, we need to get the resources into your community's hands to solve these problems, water reuse, water efficiency, on the ground solutions that many of your stakeholders are putting in motion, the use of additional resources because we don't have a moment to lose. >> absolutely and i must say
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our local water authority has done and good of a job at conservation. i want to turn to hard rock mining, the administration released fundamental principles for domestic mining reform, highlighting the 500,000 legacy mining sites in the western us alone and calling on congress to formalize and fund durable program to remediate these sites as well as provide some legal certainty for good samaritans working to remediate legacy pollution, the nevada division of minerals estimated that there are some 300,000 abandoned mine features in my home state alone. the administration has recognized that there is not one single federal agency with authority over domestic mining could you discuss epa's perspective in facilitating the cleanup of legacy mines? >> we know these minds pose
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significant risk to human health and the environment and while the department of interior is the principal land management agency we also recognize we have a role to play so to the point you just made it requires partnership through epa's abandoned mine land program, we are partnered with doi and other federal agencies in coordinating with states and tribes on the ground to provide technical expertise and research, cleanup and redevelopment of legacy mines so we know we have an important role. we are following the department of interior's lead but we understand the severity disposes to human health and we are trying to accommodate this mission. that can be accomplished by many of the resources we are asking for. it is a significant issue so we
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will leverage the bipartisan infrastructure resources to expedite this cleanup through our program. >> i'm running out of time. i want to put a plug for epa's support for the good samaritan cleanup, would love to follow up on that. i yield the time i don't have, thanks. >> you are welcome to all the time you did not have and thank you for your questions. mr. kilmer. >> thanks for being with us today. appreciate the work you and your team do. in particular i want to praise and thank you for the work the epa does in protecting and restoring puget sound. as you likely know puget sound is our nation's largest estuary and by volume the center of
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washington state's economic engine, a place where generations of washingtonians have built their lives and made their livelihoods. really important to our economy through jobs and fishing and shellfish, harvesting and maritime industries. on top of that 19 federally recognized tribes made puget sound the home since time immemorial including 17 who harvest fish and shellfish and as a consequence the federal government has a trust response will be to support puget sound recovery and uphold those rights. that is in my view a quick environmental justice issue. here's the problem, we have a sick body of water and the epa's role in this is profoundly important. now more than ever is a real opportunity for congress and your agency to take action to protect the sound for future generations but we know investing in restoring puget sound by addressing everything
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from persistent flooding and storm water runoff to removing call hurts that affect water quality and fish passage, all of that is essential for increasing climate resilience, restoring salmon runs and creating good jobs but first i want to extend to you an invitation to come out and visit the puget sound region and see firsthand the urgency and importance of protecting puget sound, the weather is particularly nice in the summer so we would like to have you visit but i'm also hoping you can speak to the opportunities you see to strengthen the epa's partnership role in puget sound including funding for the puget sound geographic program. >> thank you for your leadership on puget sound. with the resources that you all have fought hard for in our geographic programs they are making a tremendous difference for all of our national treasures but especially the puget sound and i appreciate
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you highlighting the fact that this is a perfect example of tourism, jobs, the economy, ecosystem protection, public health protection, the impact of climate change, all of these things converge together and we want to work diligently with you on solutions which i work with the puget sound partnership, state agencies and tribes and others have supported gains in a comprehensive regional plan to restore the sound, leveraging of billions of dollars for recovery, we've got, partner with 19 federally recognized tribes and international collaboration with canada, taking that approach is critical but also the nation to nation relationship we've built with those tribes helps us to understand exactly what approaches we take and why we take them. there are cultural reasons, health reasons, economic reasons.
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we've seen a net increase of 6000 acres of shellfish debt in 41,000 acres of habitat protected or restored by the partnership we have already started so the goal for us is to keep the pedal to the metal continue to strengthen our partnerships and we can do that, because of the resources you have already invested but we need more. as you said this is a thick body of water, we have a lot of work to do but we are ready to do that work. >> i'm pleased to hear you say that. these investments do pay off and i appreciate this requires a coordinated approach, partnership alongside state and tribal efforts. in that regard that is why i introduced the puget sos, funding and establishing puget sound recovery national program office and codifying the federal leadership task force that was set up under the obama
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administration, to assist regional efforts that are required, to ensure future generations with the same economic opportunities, the house on suspension last year and i hope i can count on your partnership and support for getting across the finish line. >> you can count on our partnership. as a former state regulator, i really respect office federalism. i know what can be done on the state level and things can't be done if you don't have strong federal partnership so i take this role seriously and understand what the tribes need and we cannot do this alone. you have our strong partnership and commitment to continuing to work across state, federal and tribal boundaries. >> i yield back.
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>> do you have questions this morning? >> into the interior subcommittee. there were increases, with the environmental protection agency, to provide human health and healthy environment for the success of the national security with personal security. and with the committee, was the subcommittee, develop a
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strategy for fiscal year 2021 in a report, tell me where we are in this process for restoration and resilience. >> eager to work with you, we actually turned in our homework for the office of management and budget and put forward a strong strategy, waiting for them to grade our homework, i look forward to sharing with you what that product looks like and where we go from here. >> i am happy to invite you to the head waters but i include the rest of the mississippi river to the gulf of louisiana to look at the work we can do on that and protect great working river and the habitat and the communities that live alongside of it. given your background in north carolina you are very familiar with what the agency needs to
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do, the strategic logjam by the end of 2021 to issue orders for the companies to require them to provide information about the health effects of these substances, information we currently don't have and all of us on the committee especially the chair, whether you need to have sap so we are hearing there are some delays in getting toxic substance control act on track from the previous administration, vitally important gate keeper in providing the next set of chemicals from getting into commerce without taking steps to make sure they are safe. what can you tell us about these delays, what can we do to help you address them and which funding to prioritize them in a timely fashion to protect the
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most vulnerable population including children in the united states? >> absolutely and the new law is a great example of bipartisan approach to some of the most dangerous chemicals in the country. unfortunately during the previous administration, the reform was put into place the previous administration didn't ask for any resources or put a plan in place that implanted the law as the law dictated which is why this agency has missed 9 of the first 10 chemical risk evaluation deadlines, we walked into a situation where the agency was not funded to do the work congress asked us to do so that is why we only right now have 50% of what we think we need to review the safety of new chemicals as quickly as possible not only to follow the law congress has asked but that the private sector wants to see so we can get things moving and
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put the right replacement chemicals on the market. you see a very genuine budget request here for support and implementation, congress has given us the marching orders, we don't have the resources to get the job done on time and on budget so we are asking for those resources so that we can make up for lost time and keep pace with a strong law you asked us to perform. >> i will speak for myself, you can count on me to do what i can to help you with that and to make sure that as people are asking questions as to why you are behind on your for homework, i'm a former teacher, you were never given the homework tools to complete the assignment so we will write that wrong. >> thank you for your questioning. do you have questions this morning?
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>> thank you, madam chair, i think the administrator for coming to ohio to the industrial midwest, on such a cold windy day, thank you very very much, glad to have you back in washington and want you to know the woman whose home you visited, karen george and the work of leadpipe removal in that neighborhood, where they actually reenergized, to work with their local organizations to get abandoned buildings done and established so the leadpipe removal became a sign of hope for that area, so no that i think you very very much.
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you are always welcome. i wanted to turn to the bipartisan infrastructure law and its relationship to epa, there was significant funding for expanding alternative infrastructure and alternatives including natural gas vehicles. as part of these new programs a lot of the fungible goals for electric vehicles, congress often made sure other alternative fuel vehicles qualify for many of the new programs, we just had a situation where the layout, the department of energy cleared a class viii truck to come to washington and go back, fueled 100% on ethanol so one of my
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questions is how does the epa and the administration plan to ensure that the attempt to encourage a variety of alternative fuel vehicles is honored and because i represent companies like ford that make heavy trucks in ohio, represent 40 eco-boost engine plant, i represent general motors transmission facility, transmissions for conventional vehicles and also the chief wrangler plant at the largest facility on the continent. the automotive industry, so much of our job base here and transition for the country, certainly for the people i represent so i'm interested in how this new technology, what
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epa's role might be in the new infrastructure bill and secondly i want to make you conscious not that you can do anything about this but maybe you can be a voice inside the ministration. with this position for new vehicles, cotton a lot of garages, garbage trucks, police cars, fire engines, excavators and all this equipment out there and the conditions in which people who repair them work. in places like ohio we have rampant pulmonary illness and lung cancer from diesel emissions. there is no real voice for this. because of the manner that it
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is fragmented across counties, cities, bus companies, transit authorities, and our firefighters are not even covered by osha. i know that is not your job but if you go to toledo i will take you to the garages. the county garages, hard to get your arms around this but we are million short in the country today and part of the reason is because career has not been modernized, i don't know what epa can do about that. maybe you can check out the best places in the country this is occurring or work with labor department into education department on training programs, so it is not just tangential, we are talking
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about a lot of people and young people we want to attract to this field so i want to check out the issue to you, how to make an environmental clean pro session and so changing to a new energy age also means helping people who will be doing the work. you can hardly find the words in this bill, you talk about workforce, that's not enough. we have to care about the people and where they work and maybe epa can do that so thank you for listening and my question goes back to what can you do with the infrastructure law to ensure we will have a variety of alternative sources that are safe? >> thank you for the question and i will definitely work with labor and hhs and identify our
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role as we think about the safety of mechanics in those conditions, the president has said we have to have a whole of government approach and when we hear questions we take it back to the team and try to think of the solution even if it doesn't fit neatly into one of our purviews so i will take that back. more importantly, on the fuel piece i had a lot of conversations with secretary bill sack and secretary buttigieg about the evolution of our technologies as we think about fuel choices. we know that electric vehicles are the future but they are not going to be readily available for everyone tomorrow and our agriculture industry plays an important role in this transition. as we think about advanced technology we think about advanced biofuels so this transition we know will take place over time. there's a role for agriculture and that transition and we are
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focused on making sure that role is properly managed. the other thing is there's a big play in our aviation fuel space as well so epa, dot at the front of agriculture are taking seriously and strategically about the role of biofuels and advanced biofuels and was he advanced the transportation sector that being vehicles, ground vehicles and aviation vehicles. >> thank you so very much. the first biofuel plane flown by the national guard was flown out of our district 20 years ago and one of our little jets. so the 180 fighter wing in ohio testing wished itself, out of the cover of buckeye guard magazine and so forth so it was a guard unit, wasn't active-duty, was a guard unit
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so they are out here in rural america trying to make a difference so maybe we will get you up in one of those planes sometime. i love your energy, all the best to you, thank you for answering my questions. >> thank you. i come from a rural state and i know our agricultural economy is both vital to what the countries in, the president pledged agriculture would have a seat at the table, advanced biofuels would have a role in the low carbon future. .. this low carbon future and were going to keep that commitment. >> thank you so much, and you get that dod involved. we had to drag them, they didn't even they could energy, it wasn't even on their mind. it was the marine corps that led the way because they were dying for. believe me, there some folks so bleak these are some folks over there that now. >> f i might add, i know we're over time but but i can tele relationship i have with
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secretary austin i believe is the story. and i can tell you, on climate change and on pfas i-5 no stronger partner then secretary austin -- i have had. >> thank you both for that exchange, and the first biofuel flame went up 20 years ago. we have some catch up to do here, seems like we should've figured that out a long time ago but think about for that. now we have an opportunity to ask aas few more questions. mr. reagan, if you have time we would be happy to welcome question from other members of the committee who want to pick up another topic, and i will just start with myself. i'm really pleased to see that for the first time, epa strategicin plan includes a new goal focused specifically on addressing climateifif change. clearly, it's long overdue that we have that focus, and i really look for it to supporting you and your work toward achieving
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the goal. can you describe a little bit higher budget request intends to achieve the goalho under focus n climate change? >> absolutely and this is a great way to sort of highlight how a lot of people refer to it as regulation but they really technology standards. congress gave us an assignment to phased out hydrochloric carbons -- hydrofluorocarbons and we proposed rule and finalize the rule. we are working to reduce hsas by 85% in 15 years and do it in a way we are where we are transitioning our economy. so there you see and ask resources come for technical expertise and ability to continue work with the private sector. when you look at our finalized rule for light duty vehicles, cars and trucks, we did that in concert with the automobile industry, t the uaw and are unions, and looked at what was technologically feasible to drive the economy in a way where we we're reducing greenhouse gas emissions but remaining globally
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competitive with our international competition and we're also doing it and keeping those jobs writer at home. our technology standards and regulations reduce climate, we believe we're doing a great job working with thewe industry. look at her oil and gas sector, are methane regulation to we proposed one of the most stringent regulations to reduce and capture methane that this country has ever seen but it was done because api and the chamber said we need some rules of engagement and rules of the road and how we're going to reduce that. i have worked closely with the power sector and are ceos to understand what technology available, what cost effective, how do we capture those emissions that equally as important how do we capture that lost product, because that gas is valuable. so on cars, on methane, i hydrofluorocarbons, and we are also beginning to look at our power sector more holistically. we are convening meetings
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putting strong regulations in place and reducing the threat that climatere change poses whie continuing continue to create jobs and advance our economy. the last thing i will say is everything that we have done as relates to climate change and the rules that we proposed has been done in a way to capture andvation, entrepreneurship remain globally competitive while we protect public health. >> great. that's what helpful to that description. we appreciate that. one of the part of this and i know you brought it up in other questions, this whole of government approach and i would love to more about how you are working with both the whole of government at the federal level but also tribal state local agencies just to make sure there's a lot of coordination going on. that seems like an important role for yourri agency. >> just maybe a month ago our environmental council of states held a a meeting in my home se of north carolina. i met with i e
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50 environmental state commissioners and secretaries to talk about the appropriate relationship that federal and state should have. we are hosting a lot of conversations with our tribal sovereign governments as well and looking at how we do nation and nation partnership building. it's very important for me to stress that if were going to achieve our goals, we have to have strong partnerships with our states and our tribes. we have to take advantage of the autonomy they possess so there can be creative solutions on the ground. that is extremely important. equally important is for me to have a strong relationship with secretary alston as we think about our national security as it relates to climate change or how we think about contamination and water that has plagued our retirees and our soldiers for years just like some of our
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civilian communities. there's a lot of consternation around pesticides and herbicides , waters of the u.s. and i cannot make these decisions in a vacuum. there are implications to our technology standards and regulations on economic development and drop -- job growth. as we think about the bipartisan infrastructure law, as we think about these investments that we hopefully get from you all in congress, or leveraging all these resources to make sure the federal government is speaking in one voice and leveraging the partnership we should have with our state, tribal, and local officials. thank you for that answer. we look forward to supporting you in that work. ranking member joyce, would you like to ask more questions? >> thank you again.
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the goal is to limit emissions from mobile sources, not dictate that recyclable material should be transported that shortest distance possible, how can the school coexist with the way epa has interpreted and tried to implement environmental justice actions under this administration? >> as we look at the holistic picture, we want to limit emissions for climate reasons but also in terms of public health exposure. i believe these goals can coexist. we like to make sure these facilities have the appropriate control technologies and measures so they don't put their community members in danger. some communities in this country have been dumped on. some communities have a disproportionate number and
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level of industrial processes, chemical mac -- manufacturers, coal plants, and it's unfair to have all the polluting facilities located in just one area. we have to spread some of these things out. it's not that we have to go without. we just have to think more strategically about placement to ensure that all people are equally protected under the law. >> when you opposed a particular scrub metal recycling permit application in chicago, re-aware that the only other large metal shredding facility in the city was an environmental justice area that is more densely populated than the southeast side? >> i was aware this facility operated on the north side of town, it was a better financed community that had stronger
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representation from their elected officials and that facility was relocated because of persistent violations of the clean air act and other violations, so the record wasn't strong. so when that facility move from the north side of town to the southeast side of town where those community members have been persistently dumped on, what epa said was, let's take a pause. i'm not going to make the decision. this decision is the mayor's decision, but epa will provide the mayor with the technical assistance needed to properly evaluate the health impacts. the city use those resources by epa and hhs and came to the determination that there would be a disproportionate impact to that community and with the track record that the company had for violating the law, i believe that the city made the proper determination that was not an ideal location for that facility. >> when you refer to the denial
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of such permit as environmental justice at work, or you aware of the fact that the overwhelmingly admittedly conservative health impact assessment yielded the results that were well within the epa's benchmarks? >> the city made a decision that when you look at the cumulative impact of the disproportionate pollution that that community would bear, the city made the determination that permitting one more facility could potentially be that straw that breaks the camels back for that community. again, epa's role was to provide technical assistance and resources to the city so that the city could make the proper determination. i believe that mayor lightfoot made the right decision, because i follow science and i follow data and i follow data and follow the law. when you look at all three of those things, i believe the city of chicago made right decision. i think it's important to really keep our eye on the ball. the city of chicago made that decision. epa provided additional resources so that they could
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properly evaluate the health impacts, but the city of chicago made that decision. >> i would be remiss if i didn't address the great lakes. in my backyard, lake erie is especially prone to the dangerous impacts of hazardous algal blooms. given its warm shallow especially -- i recognize the agency is focusing on delisting areas concern. given the issues the governor outlined in his january 22 letter, can you slain how epa plans to prioritize and distribute gl ri dollars to reduce toxin producing harmful algal blooms and improve water quality in the great lakes? >> we know that we need to
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direct resources to focus on these algal blooms. i believe we've invested approximately $10 million of glr i funds each year and lake erie focusing on nutrient reduction efforts. from 2015-2020, i believe the number has exceeded about $60 million. we want to ramped that up, which is why believe you will see in the budget there is a reflection to focus on important issues like these algal blooms. i'm also spending a lot of time with usda secretary tom vilsack because we know that we have nutrient runoff occurring. the resources were asking for for a water program because we know stormwater is a significant contributor here. i can tell you i am looking across all of my programs, trying to leverage every dollar. i don't want to rob peter to pay paul. i want to be able to leverage all of my resources and channel
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and focus on these important issues you are raising and i know these algal blooms are critically important, not just for public health but the economic vitality of that national treasure that you sit so closely to. >> thank you very much. you'll find on this committee we are very bipartisan on our preservation of the great lakes. i'll pass it off to marcy and she will be able to ask you some more questions. >> i just have one question and hopefully will not exhaust too much time. wanted to continue on the importance of investing in puget sound. in so doing, i wanted to highlight another program that i think is really important and that's the national estuary program which is to protect and restore water quality and ecological integrity for estuaries of national significance.
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obviously puget sound is one of the big ones in that regard. i was soaking -- hoping you could speak to how epa intends to strengthen the important work done under that program. i'm not hearing you, you may be on mute. >> you are speaking of the national estuary program. what i will do is get back with you on the specifics of that correlation of those two programs. super. happy to follow up with your team, and again, it's one of those it has an impact on a lot of our nations estuaries and certainly puget sound among them. we will look forward to following up with your team. >> this is a second series of
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questions i wanted to ask on the second subject brought up. i can occasionally smile before noon. this is a subject that was bought up somewhat in a roundabout different manner with congressman leah and that's about abandoned mine sites and cleaning them up. this is the subject brought up with the secretary of energy and the secretary of interior and anyone else who would listen. as you know, critical minerals are critical. and fortunately a lot of the critical minerals we have in his country, we rely on other countries that don't like us for the supply of them. if you're going to reach her climate goals and renewable energy and those type of things, you cannot outstrip our ability to deliver the critical minerals that are necessary and batteries and solar and other things and for our defense purposes, frankly.
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the defense department is very concerned about the supply of critical minerals. as you probably know, idaho is rich in what is deemed as critical minerals and some of those in idaho are significant in their applications. we shouldn't rely on foreign countries that don't like us for those, and it's important that we get these out of the ground here in idaho in a responsible way. i want to tell your story about what is going on and then i want to ask you a series of questions and have you -- your thoughts on it. cobalt and antimony are very critical minerals. it's critical in our renewable energy goals and there is a mine in idaho that was developed during world war ii. it was used to mine antimony that was used for war purposes in world war ii.
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after the war it was abandoned. it's been sitting up there in the mountains of idaho and the tailings are there and there is runoff from those tailings that pollute the waters and some other things that blocks access to a few hundred miles of potential salmon habitat and those types of things. there's a company that is come in that wants to clean it up, and remind those tailings and clean the water and everything else. they've got a heck of a good plan there and it has taken them so far six years to get license. and they are not licensed yet, but it six years. the cobalt mine in idaho is taken a decade to get licensed for this. that's just too long. so let me ask you the series of questions. am i correct that you support the president's critical minerals agenda? you agree that we should focus
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on remining as opposed to greenfield projects that would open new mining? would you supportremining projects i would have the co-benefit of improving the environmental conditions at historical mine sites, and maybe most important, will the epa demonstrate flexibility in the permitting process to prove -- prevent remining for critical minerals that improves the condition of the environment at the site, but not necessarily the extreme position to meeting pre-mining conditions that existed before there was ever a mind there? if we don't do this, the research i've done on this makes perfect sense. if we don't do this, where you going to leave is just a site that still continues to pollute the river and other things with runoffs and not have the ability to clean this up.
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so i think we can work together to solve this, but part of it is getting the permitting process streamlined so that we can get it done and clean up the sites. when you're going to the puget sound and flying over idaho, there are a couple of airports that i can have you land at and we can get on our jeans and boots and they would be happy to take us up there and show us some incredible country and what's going on up there. i look forward to your response on this, but i know sometimes it sounds like on really critical of the epa. i'm not, i think you do a very important job and i look forward to working with you to make sure we can do this job that we all want to do, making sure that we have a clean environment. thank you. >> i appreciate the question, and i look forward to visiting with you in your district and doing exactly what you just laid out, because i believe we have to get out from behind the desk and actually see things with our own eyes, listen, and bring these things back to washington
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dc. i do support the president's aggressive goals as it relates to critical mining. i'm also talking with my counterparts and this is once again another whole of government approach. is very important that doi, dod, epa, commerce, it's important that we are all looking at the needs if we want to win the 21st century in terms of this global competition to reduce climate change but growth jobs and grow the economy at the same time. we can ignore that we have betrayed the trust of many people in the past because we haven't done some of this mining right in the past. what we have to do is restore public trust. we have to have processes in place for the federal government to talk across agencies and look for the most expedient ways to get access to these critical minerals while protecting public health in the environment. i believe we can do that. you've raised some very good points that it's taken 6, 10, 15
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years. there has been no administration and no president has focused on the issue like this president. there's been no president that said all these agencies must work together if her going to win the 21st century. so i believe we can put the proper ross s is in place to access critical minerals in a way that supports our climate goals and allows us to win the 21st century and grow a lot of jobs. >> thank you for being here today and thanks for the important job you do. >> that's an important topic and i feel like i learned a little bit there. chair capture, it is your time to discuss the great lakes or anything else you choose. >> i've got three little points and i will end with the great lakes. i'm so glad that congressman joyce and i are able to cochair the great lakes task force. let me begin with this. you mentioned your good friends
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with secretary austin. i have an idea, and it would take leadership by both of you, and i know you've got your hands full, but as we think about the new world of vehicles, the department of defense spends an enormous amount of money going around the country before their airshows like with the thunderbirds, and they have a ground show, they bring in big rocket trucks and all these vehicles and hundreds of thousands of people cheer the department of defense and the thunderbirds. i've often thought that could be a tremendous place to introduce environmentally clean technologies that are in the -- either working or in the development stages. that would educate and inspire across our country. the marine corps has got some vehicles they worked on and so forth. but i think in the area of cars and trucks, which somewhat fall under you, we could do a lot more. i also think there should be a national program that inspires
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our young people that we want to go into the fields of technology at places that you've never heard of, like norwalk dragway in ohio and mylan dragway up in michigan just north of toledo. these are places where the future is being born, and nobody pays attention to these individual young people that are trying to get a aa fuel dragster to go faster than the guy in the other lane. this is where our talent comes from. we don't see it at the federal level. down here where we have the people that live right next door to the automotive industry, right next door to where the airplanes are made, there's tremendous opportunity that i think we miss and that we don't inspire. so i think there should be a prize for the new american car that is built by young people under 25 years of age or whatever. something creative has to be done there to inspire them that they matter.
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because they are different than kids that just maybe are advantaged their whole lives and go on to harvard or wherever, and these kids are down here working with raw material every day. trying to work on electric cars in their little classrooms in high school and all, and they are really worth paying attention to. i will send you something on that, but i think we should build the new american car, starting with them. i think your department and secretary austin could really do something with these shows that the military puts on all across the country. i don't expect you to respond, but just be interested. secondly, for great lakes cities that are heavily burdened with environmental debt, we are trying to do our job, but detroit and cleveland each have only -- municipal bonded indebtedness of more than $2
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billion, most of which is due to environmental mandates. toledo owes $1.6 billion. they are at the base of a watershed that rains into it. so the poorest community has to pay for all these environmental mandates. in the region that surrounds it walks away without those responsibilities. milwaukee, $1.4 billion. if there's any group in your agency that could take a look at bonded indebtedness in the great lakes related to environment, and some possible solutions. maybe brian deese could help us come up with some solutions with his knowledge of finance. but to put this debt on the poorest places is absolutely morally wrong. something is wrong with this formula. i just wanted to point that out and see if there isn't a way to help us think through a more
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creative financing mechanism. finally, with the great lakes, again, we are in real trouble. if there is anyway you could set up a task force across agencies including terry cosby at the natural resource conservation service at usda, yourself, and people you would appoint. some of the clean climate people. maybe over at the white house, i don't know. but we are losing this battle. the invasive species that have come into the great legs, removing the natural phytoplankton and the accelerating growth of algal blooms. it's overwhelming. over lake is the shallowest, ontario is in terrible shape
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because she gets our water once it comes out of the great lakes. but we have no political boundary for the problem. the problem of lake erie lies in michigan, indiana, ohio, and western ontario. we have a lot of agencies and we give them a lot of money, but there's no concerted focus for every month what we have to do to make a difference. in the western basin of lake erie, i can tell you there are no facilities above manure lagoons that turned that effluent into power. the governor has a program, but it hasn't -- we put millions of dollars working with senator stabenow from up in michigan and david joyce and others from using usda funds to try to get out into the watershed and try to contain the phosphorus that's coming toward the lake. but half our land is absentee
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owned so there are not farmers there to tend the land. it is an enormous problem. we need some kind of strikeforce for lake erie to save it. i'm not unhelpful, but i am extremely worried at this point. toledo experienced something very terrible in 2014, you are aware of that, and it's going to happen again if we don't deal with this. it is a massive environmental challenge. so i'm asking for consideration of a strikeforce involving the key agencies, so if you could just give that consideration. think you very much. >> thank you for that, congresswoman, and i will take that idea back of a strikeforce to the cabinet and we will see what we can do with that suggestion. thank you all for your leadership and giving us the resources to begin to try to address some of these issues. epa is throwing everything we have at the great lakes. on the issue of the bond and the
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indebtedness, we do have an environmental finance board that i will take that back to to see if they have been thinking about this issue, what solutions they might have. if they haven't been thinking about these issues, i will be sure to let them know that you have asked for us to take a strong look at this. i love the fact that bipartisanship is working here between you and the congressman from ohio. i don't know if i like being the recipient of the double-team, but it's a rare and beautiful thing to see. great lakes is a national treasure. we understand that. we know we are playing catch-up. so i appreciate the way you all are asking these questions and formulating these requests. i believe there are certain aspects of it that we can meet the moment of, but there are some huge mountains to climb. we look forward to tackling those mountains with you.
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i love your idea about using engagement. i'm in the process of creating a youth council here at epa. as i travel the country, some of the best ideas are coming from our youth. we try to look at criteria for who is on that counsel. you've just given us some really great criteria to add to that potential idea. in terms of your request with dod, there is a gentleman likes to test drive electric vehicles that happens to run the country who is leaning on secretary austin more than i ever could. i think having cleaner vehicles, especially with our military departments, something that is a top priority. but i will also take that request back as well. >> >> thank you so very much. thank you for allowing me this time. >> absolutely. >> thank you very much. we are always happy to hear more about the great lakes, and mr. regan, you were double teamed.
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this is like a force of nature here, so keep the great lakes in your focus. since i grew up in minnesota i'm a strong supporter of anything and all great lakes even though i'm devoted to the ocean these days. thank you so much for -- >> good thing chair maccallum wasn't here, too. we really would've gotten. >> this is heavily weighted to thehe great lakes. real power rests there, so we struggle to get a little attention to the ocean on east and west coast and south as well. we are appreciative of your time today and are thoughtful answers to all of our questions and, of course, we look forward to working with you on this budget process, and to think i i spek for myself and the ranking member, i don't know if you want to make any other remarks but just happy too have your today. >> thank you for your time. i know i miss you when you're here. everybody on the committee knows i have been recuperating but five weeks later i have a new knee so there's no stopping me now. i will follow you wherever you need me to go.
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>> i hate that we couldn't time in a way that you could participate but that just means that to come back and visit you. i'm committed to visiting the districts and spending time because i believe that's with a solution will come from. >> thank you very much. thank you to the committee. if there are no other questions this meeting stands adjourned. >> today a u.s. look at immigration border security challenge with officials from hhs, the state department and homeland security. watch the senate committee hearing beginning at 10:15 a.m. eastern on c-span, on our free video app c-span now an online at >> american history tv saturdays on c-span2, exploring the people and events that tells the american story. at 2 p.m. eastern on the presidency jeffrey frank looks back at the presidency of harry truman including the dropping of the first nuclear bomb with his
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book the trials of harry s. truman, the extraordinary presidency of an ordinary man. then at 8 p.m. on lectures in history, a class about the mexican-american war during the late 1840s. the professor is author of manifest ambition, james capel and military relations during the mexican war. exploring the american story, watch american history tv saturdays on c-span2 and find a full schedule on your program guide or watch online any time at >> at least six presidents recorded conversations while in office. hear many of those conversations on c-span's new podcast, presidential recordings. >> see someone focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson. you will hear about the 1964
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civil rights act, the 1964 presidential campaign, the gulf of tonkin incident, the march on selma and the war in vietnam. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly johnson secretaries knew because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. in fact, they were the ones who make sure that the conversations were taped, as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and there's. >> you alter some blunt talk. >> jim. >> yes, sir. >> i i want report of the number of people assigned to carry on meet the day he died and a number assigned to me now. and if mine are not less i want them less right quick. if i i can ever go to the batm i won't go. i promise you i will go anywhere. i would just a right behind these black gates. >> president recordings find it on the c-span now mobile app over every you get your podcasts.
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>> next, the deputy secretary of state for management and resources testified on u.s. diplomacy. senators asked about the timing of u.s. diplomatic staff returning to ukraine as the war with russia continues. this is just under an hour and a half. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]


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