The "Program and Research Operations" account, it should be noted, also includes personnel costs and travel expenses associated with administering many other (non-R&D) EPA programs, excluding Superfund, the Water Infrastructure Financing program, and a few other areas.
A somewhat different view of EPA's budget priorities may be gained from the lower portion of Table 1, which displays FY 1995 funding by media. Again, Water Infrastructure Financing stands out, representing more than a quarter of the agency's budget when sliced in this manner. In fact, if one lumps this line together with the "Water Quality" and "Drinking Water" lines, it becomes apparent that water is EPA's dominant concern, at least in dollar terms ($2.148 billion or 37.5 percent of the total). Hazardous waste (combining Superfund and the ''Hazardous Waste" line) comes a close second ($1.623 billion, 28.3 percent), followed by air at just under 10 percent and "multimedia" at 7.6 percent ($438 million). Toxics, pesticides, and radiation account for small fractions. It should be noted that these figures do not include more than $650 million in "Management and Support" costs. The latter should be allocated among the programs and would augment their percentage shares somewhat. Figures 1 and 2 display this information in graphical format.
The FY 1995 rescission, following cuts in FY 1994, has turned EPA's budget trend sharply downward. As it stands now, EPA's FY 1995 budget is actually 4 percent below its level of ten years ago in constant dollars. Table 2 shows this long-term trend over the period FY 1985-1995, and Figures 3 and 4 display EPA's total budget in current and constant dollars over the decade. Table 2 also indicates that EPA's budget has been declining relative to other components of domestic discretionary spending in the federal budget. In FY 1985, EPA's budget represented 2.73 percent of total domestic discretionary spending. This figure peaked at 3.50 percent four years later in FY 1989 and has now declined to 2.67 percent. The table and charts also include the House-passed FY 1996 appropriation level. (As of this writing, the Senate has not yet considered EPA's appropriation.) As can be seen, EPA's budget would take an unprecedented cut under this legislation.
While EPA is the major focus of environmental concern in the federal government, it does not come close to representing the full extent of federal efforts relating to the environment. Delimiting the federal role in the environment is not a straightforward task. In one sense, nearly everything the federal government