House Appropriations Update

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee marked up and passed the FY 15 funding measure for EPA and ASDWA shared highlights of the still unnumbered bill and report with state drinking water programs.  ASDWA used the draft bill that was posted on the Committee’s website to identify specific funding program allocations and language that would affect drinking water projects and policies.  Since that time, ASDWA has learned that the Committee accepted several amendments that would, if ultimately enacted, have an impact on drinking water:

  • Offered as a Manager’s Amendment by Interior & Environment Subcommittee Chair Ken Calvert (R-CA), the full Committee approved $5 million in funding for US-Mexico Border projects.  However, because this allocation was not included in the original draft, the Committee had to find an offset for the funds.  As a result, the STAG Account’s rescission amount is now $45 million rather than the original $40 million.
  • Separately, Reps. Aderholt (R-AL) and Visclosky (D-IN) won approval for an amendment to disallow any funds made available through the DWSRF to be used for “…a project for the construction, alteration, maintenance, or repair of a public water system or treatment works unless all of the iron and steel products used in the project are produced in the United States.”  The amendment goes on to reiterate the current definition and stipulations for waiver or exception available to the Administrator.
  • Additional language, to be included in the Committee Report, was offered and accepted by Rep. Amodei (R-NV) to clarify that, “Any processes, including vulcanization processes, that merely append rubber elements to iron and steel components of such iron and steel projects, which occurs outside the United States, should not render such products ineligible for the procurement preference provided that all such iron and steel components of iron and steel products were melted and cast in the United States and final assembly of the products occurs in the United States.”
  • In a slightly lighter vein, but still of interest, retiring Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf (R) was also successful in amending the appropriations measure to require that by 2017, Washington’s Birthday must be observed on February 22nd.