The Environmental Protection Agency's budget and personnel cuts for 1982 are not nearly as large as widely reported, EPA administrator Anne M. Gorsuch said yesterday to congressional critics worried that the agency may not be able to do its job.
The budget has been cut only 16 percent rather than 25 percent and personnel will be reduced by only 2 percent, not 10 percent, she said. The higher figures are "paper world" calculations rather than "real world" numbers, Gorsuch told the House energy oversight subcommittee.
Chairman John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) said EPA may have trouble no matter how the cuts are calculated, and will have to rely more on outside contractors. "Both effects are unacceptable," he said.
Gorsuch, under continuing fire in Congress for her reductions, responded that increasing state authority for some programs will ease the burden in Washington. Charges of huge cuts from former president Carter's budget and personnel levels ignored the fact that Carter's proposals were never realized, she added.
"Such rumors are not even arithmetically correct," she said.
In testimony submitted for the record, the Office of Technology Assessment, an arm of Congress, said the computer models EPA uses to grade the danger at a toxic waste dump rely too heavily on population density in the area and not heavily enough on the risk to individuals of highly toxic materials.