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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Appropriations for FY2011

Robert Esworthy
Specialist in Environmental Policy

David M. Bearden
Specialist in Environmental Policy

Claudia Copeland
Specialist in Resources and Environmental Policy

Jane A. Leggett
Specialist in Energy and Environmental Policy

James E. McCarthy
Specialist in Environmental Policy

Mary Tiemann
Specialist in Environmental Policy

The President's FY2011 budget request, submitted to Congress on February 1, 2010, included $10.02 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The requested amount is a decrease below the funding level of $10.29 billion provided in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2010 (P.L. 111-88). Compared to FY2009, the President's FY2011 request for EPA is an increase above the enacted appropriation of $7.64 billion provided in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY2009 (P.L. 111-8). However, when including the $7.22 billion in supplemental appropriations for EPA provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, P.L. 111-5), the total appropriation for the agency in FY2009 was $14.86 billion, exceeding both the FY2010 enacted appropriations and the President's FY2011 request. 

Although the President has proposed an overall decrease for EPA relative to the appropriations enacted for FY2010, the FY2011 budget request includes a variety of decreases and increases in funding for many of the individual programs and activities funded within the eight appropriations accounts that fund the agency. Since FY2006, Congress has funded these accounts within the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, noted above with respect to FY2010 enacted appropriations. In FY2005 and prior fiscal years, Congress appropriated funding for EPA's accounts within the former Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies appropriations bill. 

For FY2011, the President has requested the largest decrease in funding for EPA within the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account, from $4.97 billion in FY2010 to $4.79 billion in FY2011. This account contains the largest portion of the agency's funding among the eight accounts. The majority of this requested decrease for FY2011 is attributed to a combined $200 million reduction in funding for grants that provide financial assistance to states to help capitalize Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). Respectively, these funds finance local wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects in local areas. 

The President's FY2011 request includes $2.0 billion for Clean Water SRF capitalization grants and $1.29 billion for Drinking Water SRF capitalization grants. These amounts are somewhat less than the enacted FY2010 appropriations, but are several times larger than amounts provided in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY2009. However, when including the supplemental funds provided in ARRA, both the FY2010 enacted appropriations and the President's FY2011 request for the SRF grants are less than the total funding made available for the SRF grants in FY2009. ARRA provided $4.0 billion in supplemental funds for Clean Water SRF capitalization grants and $2.0 billion in supplemental funds for Drinking Water SRF capitalization grants. 

In addition to the adequacy of federal financial assistance for water infrastructure, other prominent issues that have received attention within the context of EPA appropriations include the adequacy of funding for climate change research and related activities, cleanup of hazardous waste sites under the Superfund program, cleanup of less hazardous sites referred to as brownfields, and grants to assist states in implementing air pollution control requirements. Funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative established in the FY2010 appropriations, and funding for the protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay and other geographic water programs, also have received attention. There have been varying levels of interest in funding for numerous other EPA programs and activities.

Date of Report: March 26, 2010
Number of Pages: 34
Order Number:R41149
Price: $29.95

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