WASHINGTON (Feb. 8, 20000)—Both the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency announced record budget proposals for fiscal year 2001.
The DOT budget of $54.9 billion—$4.7 billion or 9 percent above the FY 2000 budget for the agency—is necessary to make needed improvements and innovations in the U.S. transportation network, said DOT Secretary Rodney E. Slater.
"These investments will make travel safer and more secure, our economy stronger, and our communities more livable," Mr. Slater said in his Feb. 7 speech announcing the Clinton administration´s budget requests for his agency.
A total of $1.7 billion—21 percent over last year—has been earmarked for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees truck safety.
"Since transportation deaths occur mostly on our roadways, we must continue making them safer," Mr. Slater said. The biggest increase in the safety sector is $177 million—a whopping 69-percent increase over last year—for motor carrier safety grants to increase roadside truck inspections, hunt traffic violators more aggressively and review commercial drivers license programs.
The EPA budget of $7.3 billion for fiscal 2001 represents the biggest increase in environmental funding the Clinton administration has ever requested, said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner.
"The American people know—and the Clinton-Gore administration has proven—that our nation does not have to choose between a strong economy and a healthy environment," Ms. Browner said Feb. 7.
Among the EPA funds requested for 2001 are $1.45 billion for the Superfund program—with an agency goal of completing 900 toxic site cleanups by 2002—and $92 million to clean up "brownfields," or inner-city industrial sites. The budget also asks for $227 million for the EPA´s portion of the Climate Change Technology Initiative, which will invest in energy-efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.