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Senate Appropriations Funds EPA for FY 19

On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations passed the FY 19 Interior, EPA, and Related Agencies appropriations bill by a vote of 31-0.  Much was made of the fact that this bill enjoys full bipartisan support – something that hasn’t happened since 2010.

For EPA funding, the news is generally positive.  The Committee did not support many of the Administration’s requests for deep cuts.  In fact, the Committee retained the overall funding level from FY 18 of $8,058,488,000 for the Agency.  For the Agency’s drinking water program accounts found in Title II of the bill, approved funding allocations include:

TITLE II PROGRAM ACCOUNTS

Science & Technology Program Account:                                        $706,473,000

Environmental Programs & Management Account:                      $2,597,999,000

State & Tribal Assistance Grants Program Account:                     $3,575,041,000

WIFIA Program Account:                                                                   $10,000,000

More specifically, for state drinking water programs:

PWSS Grants                                                                                   $101,963,000

DWSRF                                                                                            $864,000,000

TITLE IV ADDITIONS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE

In addition, the Senate bill offers the DWSRF a big boost under a separate Title.  Title IV (General Provisions) adds an additional $300,000,000 to the loan program bringing the DWSRF FY 19 total to $1,164,000,000.  WIFIA also gets a $53,000,000 bump for a total of $63,000,000 of which $8,000,000 is for EPA administrative use.  This Title also provides continued funding for the three grant programs authorized under the 2014 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act

Lead testing in schools:                                                                     $25,000,000

Lead reduction in drinking water projects                                          $15,000,000

Enhanced SDWA compliance for disadvantaged communities         $30,000,000

ASDWA will continue to extract more details from this appropriations bill to share with state drinking water programs in the coming days.  We also will be monitoring when this measure moves to the Senate Floor and whether it will be considered as a stand alone bill or become part of a multi-bill minibus.