Murray Talks Importance of Strong Investments at EPA at FY25 Budget Hearing


***WATCH: Senator Murray’s questioning of EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan ***


Washington, D.C. — Today—at a Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing on the fiscal year 2025 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, discussed the importance of strong investments to support EPA’s vital work—and strong investments in key domestic programs generally. In opening comments, Senator Murray said:

“You know, these hearings really offer us a really critical look at the needs that are facing our nation in FY25.


“And as I have said before—and as we have seen many times—keeping our nation strong and our families safe is about a lot more than just how much we invest in our military.


“It’s also about the absolutely essential investments we make at agencies like EPA which ensures that we have clean air and clean water for our families, and protects our communities from toxic pollutants and cancer-causing chemicals, and a lot more.


“So as long as I am Appropriations Chair, I’m going to make sure that we never lose sight of that reality—or leave essential domestic needs behind.


“Now I have been very clear from the start: I don’t like the bipartisan spending caps we have to work with—they seriously limit our investments in our country’s future, and they forced a lot of tough funding decisions in the bill we just completed.


“There’s no question that FY25 is going to be even tougher than last year but I am absolutely committed to working again, in a bipartisan way, to make sure we address the challenges we face—for defense and nondefense alike.


“For me, the order of the day—every day as we work on our new funding bills now—is to make sure families are always treated as an equal priority in our funding bills, and are as important as our military spending.


“They are both critical to our nation’s success.”


Senator Murray asked Administration Regan about funding increases in the EPA’s budget request stating: “This is the funding that ensures the EPA can enforce our bedrock environmental laws, like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, protect our ecosystems, our waterways, our communities. The request for clean air programs would boost funding by $393 million. Would you talk to us about why that that need is there and how it would be used?”


Administrator Regan emphasized the importance of maintaining progress made by the EPA, responding in part, “We just proposed a really good, strong drinking water rule on PFAS but that’s six, we’ve got 29 in the wings, and we’ve got thousands more. So we need to keep the pace there. We want to ensure the safety of chemicals before they hit the market since that is one of the places on our team where we have a deficit in terms of staffing, yet we’re getting more and more requests from our ag communities about herbicides and pesticides. We have to maintain the progress that we’re making on cleaning up our Superfund sites and our Brownfield sites. And quite frankly, I wish it weren’t the case, but we need the capability to respond to a lot of these emergencies that we are seeing, whether they are train derailments, or bridge collapses, or wildfires.”


Senator Murray also asked Administrator Regan about the Puget Sound Geographic Program and the support that will be provided to the program to continue its efforts in protecting Washington ecosystems and wildlife. She also noted the importance of the holistic agreement reached earlier this week by EPA, U.S. Department of Energy, and Washington State Department of Ecology on the agencies’ plans to manage the tank waste stored at the Hanford site.