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Federal Budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI).

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment passed a spending bill to fund the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). Funding levels proposed by the committee are mostly good news for key local programs, rejecting cuts to the Brownfields and Superfund cleanup programs, along with regional ecosystem restoration efforts. The bill provides modest cuts to the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) while maintaining level funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Within DOI, the Land and Water Conservation Program takes a hit, but the committee rejected a near elimination of the program.

The bill language also includes a policy rider that would allow EPA to withdraw the 2015 Clean Water Rule (aka “waters of the U.S.”/WOTUS), without following the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and the requirement for public notice and comment period. While we have concerns with the 2015 rule and have advocated for a revision, the ability of local officials to participate in the rulemaking process is a fundamental principle of the intergovernmental partnership.

The following chart compares funding for key municipal programs in the current (FY ’17) Budget along with funding requests in the President’s proposal, as well as funding authorized in the bills approved by the House Appropriations Committee:

Program FY’17 Budget President’s Proposal FY’18 House Bill
Clean Water State Revolving Fund $1.393 billion $1.393 billion $1.143 billion
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund $863 million $863 million $863 million
Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)  $30 million  $20 million $25 million
Brownfields $80 million  $69 million  $90 million
Superfund  $1.089 billion  $762 million  $1.116 billion

Contacts:

  • Michael Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, mcerra@njslom.org, 609-695-3481 x120;
  • Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njslom.org 609-695-3481 x121.
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