Lynn L. Bergeson Offers Comments to Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report on Reduced EPA FY2016 Budget Request
A February 4, 2015 story, “More Final Risk Assessments Planned Despite Reduced FY16 EPA Budget Request,” in Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report on the Congressional Justification released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on February 2, 2015 addressing the EPA FY2016 budget, reported that EPA intends to publish more chemical risk assessments in fiscal year 2016 than it anticipates issuing in fiscal 2015, that the agency says it can achieve its goal despite a cut in the fiscal 2016 budget request for the agency’s chemicals office, and that part of the plan involves reducing the number of staff working to manage chemical risks, leaving more to work on risk assessments.
“The OPPT $10 million shortfall is disappointing if not distressing,” Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell P.C., told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail. The budget request and accompanying documents are not clear on how the office has justified this proposed decrease, such as the extent the reductions would be paid for by cutting staff, she said. The Congressional Justification said the OPPT is requesting 2.3 fewer full-time employees in fiscal year 2016 than it has in fiscal year 2015. OPPT still has an ambitious agenda, Bergeson said. It is difficult to fathom how important programs, such as the time-limited work by agency staff that review chemical manufacturers requests to manufacture new chemicals, and related matters, will be addressed without additional funding, let alone a diminished budget, she said.