EPA Research Gets Respectable Bump

The 2010 request for the Environmental Protection Agency is $10.5 billion, a whopping 38% increase over last year’s budget. Most of that increase would go toward improving waste-water treatment facilities, enforcement of regulations, and other activities, but science and technology would also get a 6.6% budget boost.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s science and technology account would rise by $52 million to $842 million. The biggest winner, in terms of absolute increases, is air toxics and quality, for which the administration is requesting a $17 million (16.3%) increase. Close behind is human health and ecosystems, which would get $16 million (7%) more than FY 2009.

Also a getting large increase is the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory. It would receive $15 million (20.3%) more to improve its testing capabilities. Work on hydraulic hybrid and clean engines would get $2.2 million more, or a 12.3% increase.

A widely used database of chemical safety, the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), would get the bulk of a 14.7% increase to the Human Health Risk Assessment program. That would add 10 staff members to speed up delays in adding new toxicology data to IRIS. The computational toxicology program would see a nearly 30% boost, to $19.6 million, to beef up modeling efforts of hazard assessments and speed up the development of a virtual embryo, liver, and cardiopulmonary system.