Return to ASDWA's Newsroom

House and Senate Appropriations Pass Separate FY 17 Funding for EPA

On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee debated, amended, and ultimately passed the FY 17 Interior & EPA Appropriations bill (still unnumbered) generally along party lines.  On Thursday, Senate Appropriations took up its FY 17 Interior & EPA measure.

House Approps Activity

A complete list of amendments for the House bill is not yet available.  While most do not affect drinking water, there was a surprise amendment to remove language related to AIS that had been approved by the Subcommittee.  That language was intended to clarify that “iron and steel products that are substantially transformed in the United States shall be considered ‘produced in the United States.’  The Committee directs EPA to consider US manufacturing costs, including labor, machining, coating, assembly, and testing, when determining if a product is primarily iron or steel.”  Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) objected to this more narrow interpretation and was successful in amending the bill to return the language to its original state.

Key takeaways from the Committee markup include:

$1,070,500,000  DWSRF

$1,000,000,000  CWSRF

$109,700,000     PWSS

$50,000,000      WIFIA

$10,000,000      Competitive Research Grants (usually WaterRF and WERF)

$15,000,000      Competitive Technical Assistance Grants

Report language that accompanied the legislation being considered contained numerous recommendations for state actions related to lead in drinking water.  The intent was to give states more flexibility when considering communities in need or those wishing to remove lead pipes.  The language also calls for GAO to undertake a state by state assessment of all lead service lines in the US.  There is also ‘clarifying’ language related to American Iron & Steel provisions.

The measure will now be sent to the House Floor for further consideration.  No date has yet been set.

To review the draft bill, go to http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2017-ap00-interior.pdf.  Report language is at http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-114-hr-fy2017-interior.pdf.

Senate Approps Activity

As of this writing, no draft bill or report language has been posted for the Senate action and very little information is available.  ASDWA has learned that, overall, the Senate Committee provided $8.1 billion for Agency programs.  Further, during the markup, Senator Murkowski (R-AK, Chair of the Interior & Environment Subcommittee stated that there is bill language that supported the Administration’s DWSRF $1.02 billion request, reinstated CWSRF funding levels to $1.35 billion, and provided $30 million for WIFIA.

ASDWA will continue to keep you apprised of any progress on these measures as they await Floor action in their respective chambers.