Senate Releases Committee Print for FY 18 EPA Funding

Although not formally marked up or voted on by the Senate Interior & EPA Appropriations Subcommittee, late yesterday the Subcommittee released its proposal for FY 18 funding for EPA.  The bill funds the Agency at $7.91 billion.  This total is about $150 million less than FY 17 funding levels but about $5 million more than the House proposed funding level of $7.4 billion and about $2.2 billion more than the Administration’s budget request figure of $5.7 billion.
Broad funding categories of interest to state drinking water programs include:

  • Science & Technology Program Account = $661,029,000. Of this amount, $4.1 million would go toward research organizations such as WaterRF.  However, the account will also rescind $27 million in funding except that for the research organizations.
  • Environmental Programs & Management Program Account = $2,521,543,000. Of this amount, $12.7 million will be used for competitive grants to provide small system technical assistance and training.  Great Lakes and other geographic programs are funded at $443,857,000.  As above, there is a rescission for this account that equals $41 million, noting that the competitive grant program or from the geographic programs.
  • State & Tribal Assistance Grants Program Account = $3,553,041,000. Of this amount, the Drinking Water SRF would be funded at $864 million and the Clean Water SRF at $1.394 billion.  The larger of 2% of the DWSRF or $20 million would be reserved for Tribes and 1.5% would be shared among the territories.  The PWSS program would be funded at $101.963,000.  There does not appear to be a mandated rescission for this program account.
  • WIFIA Program Account = $25,000,000 for the cost of both direct and guaranteed loans. An additional $5 million is authorized for administrative expenses to carry out the loan programs.  No rescission has been identified.

The Subcommittee’s action takes a major step forward in setting the stage for negotiations with the House on a final funding package before the Continuing Resolution expires on December 8.  The measure, however, does not come without contention.  The Democrats are unhappy with proposed language pertaining to a combined 10% reduction in funding for water, air, research, and enforcement programs; the Clean Water Act jurisdiction rule, the TSCA lead in ammunition regulatory prohibition provision; as well as elimination of the Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System.
Within the bill language, EPA funding can be found under Title II. The Subcommittee’s Explanatory Statement that accompanies the bill language provides some insights into the proposed funding levels.