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Monday, April 25, 2011

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

None of the 12 regular appropriations bills for FY2011, including the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill that includes funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), were enacted before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2010. To date, a series of temporary continuing resolutions (CRs) have been enacted that have sequentially extended funding from October 1, 2010, through April 15, 2011 (most recently P.L. 112-8, enacted April 9, 2011). Two other bills enacted during the second session of the 111th 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 P.L. 111-226, enacted August 10, 2010, rescinded EPA FY2009 supplemental funding provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; P.L. 111-5).

During the 112
th Congress, Title VII of Division B in H.R. 1, a full-year continuing resolution passed by the House on February 19, 2011, included specified funding levels for certain EPA accounts below the FY2011 requested and FY2010 enacted levels. House-passed H.R. 1 also contained more than 20 provisions that would have restricted and prohibited the use of appropriated funds to implement various regulatory activities under EPA’s jurisdiction. On March 9, 2011, the Senate did not pass the House version of H.R. 1 and did not agree to a subsequent Senate substitute amendment (S.Amdt. 149) containing different funding levels and generally omitting the EPA provisions included in the House-passed H.R. 1. Congress continues to deliberate on options for completing the FY2011 appropriations bills. The President’s FY2011 budget request, submitted to the 111th Congress on February 1, 2010, included $10.02 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was below the $10.29 billion FY2010 enacted appropriations. Congress is currently deliberating on the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1473), introduced April 11, 2011.

Although the President proposed an overall decrease for FY2011 for EPA relative to the appropriations enacted for FY2010, the FY2011 budget request included 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. Most of the overall FY2011 decrease that the President proposed 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 for FY2011 within the STAG account 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 included $2.00 billion for Clean Water SRF capitalization grants and $1.29 billion for Drinking Water SRF capitalization grants, less than the enacted FY2010 appropriations of $2.10 billion and $1.39 billion, respectively.

Other prominent issues that have received attention within the context of EPA appropriations include the level of funding for greenhouse gas emission regulations, 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 certain 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.

Date of Report: April 11, 2011
Number of Pages: 38
Order Number: R41149
Price: $29.95

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