House Passes FY 2020 EPA Appropriations But No Clear Path Forward

This week the House of Representatives passed its second appropriations package which includes funding for the fiscal year 2020 for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Interior-Environment bill provides $9.53 billion to EPA, funding the agency at $3.3 billion above the President’s budget request. The bill appropriates $4.62 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants including $3.08 billion for Clean Water & Drinking Water State Revolving Funds ($826 million more than in fiscal 2019 and $1.1 billion more than requested by the President) and $70 million in targeted grants for drinking water contaminants like lead & other hazards.

The appropriations bill also includes $60 million for clean up of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at former military bases. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI), co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional PFAS Task Force, led this effort that garnered support for a $46 million increase in funding from $14 million last year. For more information, view the press release.

However, the measures will likely require a significant rewrite before they become law as the White House has already threatened to veto the bill in its current form. Additionally, the spending levels outlined in the bill assume Congress will increase the fiscal 2020 spending caps under the Budget Control Act. Without a spending cap agreement, the appropriated levels in the bill would trigger automatic across-the-board reductions, known as sequestration.