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Substantial Budget Cuts Anticipated in the Future for EPA

The Trump Administration has sent its budgetary outline to Federal agencies for review and, as previously reported by ASDWA, substantial budget cuts are anticipated in the future for EPA.  According to a recent story in the Washington Post, for FY’18 (starting on October 1st), EPA is targeted for a 24 percent reduction in its overall budget.  The Agency’s overall budget would drop from $8.2 billion to $6.1 billion and several programs would be eliminated.  Staffing could end up being reduced from 15,000 to 12,000.
Media reports on the details behind the budget cuts continued throughout the week.  The website for The Oregonian, OregonLive posted the breakdown of the budget cuts on Thursday afternoon.  Most problematic from the states’ perspective is the potential for reductions in grants for the PWSS grants.  The initial numbers show a reduction of 30 percent for the PWSS grants, which would be more than problematic given the flat level of federal funding for state programs over the past decade or more.  It’s still unclear whether the DWSRF funding is going to be increased or decreased.
State Administrators should keep in mind that what was released last week was a high-level budget outline from the Administration – Congress passes the appropriations bills.  Substantive budget debates will occur between now and the appropriations for FY’18.
Funding for the balance of FY’17 (through September 30th) is still not clear as the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on April 28th.  Congress will have to act (likely with an extension of the CR at current funding levels) between now and April 28th to avoid a government shutdown.