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FY 18 Budget Request Slashes EPA Funding

Not unexpectedly, the Administration’s FY 18 budget request sharply decreased funding for EPA by about 30% from $8 billion to $5.65 billion.
Each of the principal program accounts also saw decreased funding with Science & Technology down to $450.8 million, Environmental Programs & Management reduced to $1.71 billion, and the STAG program decreased to $2.93 billion.
For state drinking water programs, the news is no less dire.  The DWSRF is static at $863.2 million and the PWSS program is cut to $71.2 million – a figure not seen in nearly 20 years.  Funding for the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay programs, Alaska Rural and Native Villages, the US/Mexico Border program, and §319 Nonpoint Source initiatives have all been eliminated altogether.  The CWSRF is also static at $1.39 billion and the wastewater §106 grants are now funded only at $161.2 million.
The Agency’s FY 18 Budget in Brief document that outlines the various programs and discusses the Agency’s approach for the coming year can be downloaded from the EPA website.  Use this link https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-05/documents/fy-2018-budget-in-brief.pdf.
EPA was not the only Federal Agency to lose funding for programs that relate to drinking water.  USDA lost funding for their Rural Water and Waste Disposal program that funds technical assistance circuit riders; the NOAA grants and education program at Department of Commerce was zeroed out; DHS lost its flood hazard mapping and risk analysis program; and HUD lost funding for its Community Development Block Grants program.
Now the focus moves to Congress to determine how they will respond to the Administration’s funding request.  House and Senate Appropriations Committees have already begun to hold hearings although none have yet been set for EPA’s funding.  Rumors are already swirling about creating an omnibus appropriations measure as a first step rather than an 11th hour consideration since there is so little time left in the current fiscal year.