In a letter dated February 6, 2013, then-Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), Lisa Jackson, wrote to Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to explain how the sequestration budget cuts will impact EPA's ability to protect the nation's environment and public health. Ms. Jackson identified impacts to the following EPA Programs:
- Air Programs
- Enforcement and Compliance Programs
- Tribal Programs
- Research and Development Programs
- Water Programs
Ms. Jackson also explained that the sequestration cuts will limit EPA's ability to protect communities from the risks posed by hazardous waste sites.
The sequestration budget cuts went into effect on March 1, 2013, requiring EPA to cut approximately $425 million from its $8.3 billion annual budget. In a memo to staff on March 1st, EPA's Acting Administrator Robert Perciasepe announced that, in addition to cuts in grants and contracts, EPA employees will be required to take up to 13 unpaid furlough days in the coming year. EPA employees must take four unpaid days off between April and June, at which point EPA will re-evaluate its budget and determine how many additional furlough days will be required, possibly up to a total of 13 days by the end of September.
A copy of Ms. Jackson's letter is available here.