House Appropriations Funds EPA for FY 19

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On June 6, in a marathon 6-hour session, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 19 Interior, EPA, and Related Agencies measure and sent it to the Floor for further consideration.

Drinking Water

For EPA, overall funding decreases to a total of $7.958 billion –  a difference of about $100 million from FY 18 – but still higher than the Administration’s request of $6.1 billion.  The Committee’s “Managers Amendment” which will include all legislative and technical corrections is not yet available.  However, it appears that the additional DWSRF funding ($150 million) from FY 18 enacted appropriations did not survive which leaves an appropriation of the more traditional $863 million.  PWSS also appears to hold steady at $101.9 million.  Of the 14 amendments added to the bill, only one – retention of existing “Buy America” provisions at EPA – relates directly to drinking water.

Wastewater

The Clean Water SRF also loses the “extra” $150 million from FY 18 enacted levels.  Further, the bill also rolls back the WOTUS rule and calls for finalizing guidance on permit reviews for pollutant discharges into navigable waters.

HABs

Separately, under provisions for the US Geological Survey, legislative report language was added under the Water Resources Section that states, “The Committee includes $1,250.000 in the Water Availability and Use Science Program for integrated water availability assessments and an additional $819,000 in the National Water Quality Program for the purposes of working with State, local, and Tribal partners to monitor, model, and forecast the occurrence of harmful algal blooms and algal toxins.”

As more details become available, ASDWA will share them with state drinking water programs. The Senate has not released any details on their funding proposals but is expected to do so shortly.  A tentative markup for Senate Interior & EPA Appropriations Subcommittee is set for next week.