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Heritage Foundation Publishes Updated FY18 Blueprint for Balance Budget Recommendations

This week, the Heritage Foundation revised and updated its earlier Blueprint for Balance that offers their recommendations for a more efficient and better focused budget for FY 18.  Using the criteria listed below, the Heritage Foundation identifies several programs that, in their estimation, should be modified or eliminated at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Congress should use four criteria to assess every federal program in developing the FY 2018 budget. Congress should determine whether:

  1. The program’s elimination would increase opportunity or reduce favoritism;
  2. The program would better serve the American people if it were administered and financed by the private sector;
  3. The program would be better administered by state or local governments; or
  4. The program is wasteful or duplicative.

ASDWA has identified several recommendations made in the Report that might be of interest to state drinking water programs.  While we all understand that final funding for programs will be determined by Congress rather than the Administration, states should be aware of the types of cuts that are being recommended to the Administration by groups such as the Heritage Foundation.  Also, the Heritage Foundation appears to have some substantial influence within the Trump Administration.

  1. RECOMMENDATION Eliminate nine climate-related programs. This proposal saves $3.566 billion in FY 2018. Congress should eliminate funding for:
  • Regulation of GHG emissions from vehicles (as well as non-road equipment, locomotives, aircraft, and transportation fuels);
  • Regulation of CO2 emissions from power plants, factory boilers, and other stationary sources;
  • The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program;
  • The Global Methane Initiative;
  • The Climate Resilience Fund;
  • The Climate Resilience Evaluation Awareness Tool;
  • The Green Infrastructure Program;
  • The Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative; and
  • Climate research funding for the Office of Research and Development.
  1. RECOMMENDATION Eliminate funding for two EPA research programs. This proposal saves $245 million in FY 2018.
  1. RECOMMENDATION Eliminate the (1) National Estuary/Coastal Waterways, (2) Integrated Environmental Strategies, (3) Pollution Prevention, (4) Surface Water Protection, (5) Federal Vehicle and Fuels Standards and Certification, and (6) Waste Minimization and Recycling programs. This proposal saves $353 million in FY 2018. (NOTE:  ASDWA believes that #4 is actually the Source Water Protection Program rather than Surface Water Protection.)
  1. RECOMMENDATION Reduce funding for the Civil Enforcement program by 30 percent. This proposal saves $52 million in FY 2018.
  1. RECOMMENDATION Eliminate the EPA’s information exchange/outreach programs. This proposal saves $126 million in FY 2018.
  1. RECOMMENDATION Allow the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to expire permanently. This proposal saves $20.5 billion in FY 2018.
  2. RECOMMENDATION Eliminate all “environmental justice” programs. This proposal saves $7 million in FY 2018.
  1. RECOMMENDATION Reduce Funding for the EPA’s External Civil Rights Compliance Office (ECRCO)/Title VI. This proposal saves $5 million in FY 2018.
  1. RECOMMENDATION Reduce the EPA’s legal advice programs by 50 percent. This proposal saves $25 million in FY 2018.