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Senate Offers Draft FY 15 EPA Appropriations

On August 1st, the Senate Appropriations Committee released the draft bill and accompanying explanatory statement for FY 15 funding for the Department of Interior, EPA, and several independent agencies.  In announcing the availability of the materials, Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) made the following joint statement, “…we want to offer this draft document as an important step towards the negotiation of a fiscally responsible and balanced Fiscal Year 2015 Interior appropriations bill.  This draft bill supports key programs to protect the health of our economy and environment and we are committed to working together with our colleagues on the complex issues in this bill to better manage our nation’s resources.”

For state drinking water programs, the draft contains several provisions and allocations of interest.  Overall, under the Senate draft, EPA would receive $8.18 billion.  Within the Agency, funding for the Science & Technology Account equals $752.8 million; Environmental Programs & Management (EPM) would be funded at slightly more than $2.6 billion; and the State & Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG) Program would see funding of about $3.5 billion.

More specifically, the state PWSS program would be funded at $101.9 million which is consistent with FY 14 enacted levels.  The DWSRF would also maintain FY 14 levels of nearly $907 million as would the CWSRF at nearly $1.45 billion.  The Senate would bump the competitive award allocation for training and technical assistance up to $15 million ($13 million for small system assistance and $2 million for private well efforts).  The Senate draft also continues to fund the SmartGrowth initiative at $1.36 million.

While there is no reliable prediction as to when or whether the full Senate Appropriations Committee might take up the draft funding measure, these proposed allocations do help to set the stage for negotiations as the likelihood of an Omnibus Appropriations bill continues to escalate.