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Monday, October 18, 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 amount requested for EPA is below the funding level of $10.29 billion provided in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2010 (P.L. 111-88), but an increase above the enacted EPA 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. 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.

Most of the overall FY2011 decrease for EPA relative to FY2010 appropriations is attributed to the requested $200 million reduction for water infrastructure grants within the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG) account, the largest of the agency’s eight appropriations accounts. This requested decrease would reduce financial assistance to states to help capitalize Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs). The adequacy of federal assistance for this purpose has been a long-standing issue. 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, less than the enacted FY2010 appropriations, but more than that provided in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY2009. When including the FY2009 supplemental funds provided in ARRA ($4.0 billion for the Clean Water SRF and $2.0 billion for the Drinking Water SRF), 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.

Other prominent issues that have received attention within the context of EPA appropriations include the level 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-specific water programs, also have received attention. An FY2011 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill had not been reported in either chamber as of the writing of this report. A continuing resolution (P.L. 111-242, H.R. 3081) signed by the President September 30, 2010, provides funding through December 3, 2010, for EPA and most other agencies at the same level as enacted for FY2010. Two other bills enacted during the second session of the 111
th Congress included provisions related to EPA appropriations. P.L. 111-212, enacted July 29, 2010, provided EPA FY2010 supplemental funding. P.L. 111-226, enacted August 10, 2010, included provisions rescinding EPA FY2009 ARRA funding.

Date of Report: October 4, 2010
Number of Pages: 35
Order Number: R41149
Price: $29.95

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