Biden budget re-ups Clean Air Act, civil rights goals

By Sean Reilly | 03/12/2024 01:21 PM EDT

The fiscal 2025 EPA budget request aims to boost funding for federal regulatory and enforcement partners as well as air pollution monitoring systems.

EPA headquarters in Washington.

EPA headquarters in Washington. Stefani Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is doubling down on its push for a huge boost in funding next year for the state, local and tribal air quality regulators who handle most permitting and enforcement work, an effort that faced pushback this month on Capitol Hill.

The White House also wants to pump more money into an aging air pollution monitoring network and — despite a recent court setback — still plans to target Clean Air Act permitting decisions found to be discriminatory, according to the EPA budget request released Monday.

State and local air agencies would get $400.2 million in fiscal 2025, up almost 70 percent from this year’s total of about $236 million. Spending on tribal air quality management grants would jump more than 40 percent from $16.3 million to $23.1 million under the proposal.


These programs are critical “to support implementation of environmental laws across the country and assure tangible progress for historically overburdened and underserved Communities,” EPA said in a more detailed explanation of the request also posted online Monday. Overall spending, the agency added, “has been largely flat since 2018, while the need and expectations from EPA partners has only increased.”