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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) FY2012 Appropriations

Robert Esworthy
Specialist in Environmental Policy

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal departments and agencies funded within the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill are currently operating under a continuing resolution (P.L. 112-55), which runs through December 16, 2011, while the debate over FY2012 appropriations continues. In July 2011, the House Appropriations Committee reported H.R. 2584 (H.Rept. 112-151) with $27.52 billion in appropriations for FY2012 for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Title II of H.R. 2584, as reported, would provide a total of $7.15 billion for EPA, $1.82 billion (20%) less than the President’s FY2012 request of $8.97 billion, and $1.53 billion (18%) less than the FY2011 enacted appropriation of $8.68 billion. In addition to funding levels for the various EPA programs and activities, H.R. 2584 as reported included more than 25 provisions that would restrict or preclude the use of FY2012 funds by EPA for implementing or proceeding with a number of recent and pending EPA regulatory actions. Nearly 250 amendments, including several regarding EPA, were under consideration during floor debate which was suspended on July 28, 2011. No companion bill for FY2012 appropriations has been formally introduced in the Senate. However, on October 14, 2011, the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released a draft bill for FY2012 to serve as a starting point of discussions for markup. The Senate subcommittee draft, which recommended $8.62 billion for EPA, did not include those provisions that would restrict or preclude the use of FY2012 funds for certain EPA actions, as were contained in the House committee-reported H.R. 2584.

Several EPA regulatory actions have received considerable attention during House and Senate oversight committee hearings, appropriations committee hearings, and House floor debate on the FY2012 appropriations. The provisions included in H.R. 2584 as reported, and many of the House floor amendments (considered and pending), cut across the various environmental pollution control statutes’ programs and initiatives, such as those that address greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous air pollutants, particulate matter emissions, permitting of new source air emissions, water quality impacts of mountaintop mining operations, management of coal ash, lead-based paint removal, environmental impacts associated with livestock operations, financial responsibility with respect to Superfund cleanup, and stormwater discharge. Further, Title V of the House committee-reported bill, “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011,” included significant amendments to the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in response to EPA’s consideration of requiring permits under the Clean Water Act for point source discharges of pesticides in or near U.S. waters. To date, House floor debate on H.R. 2584 has not been completed.

This report summarizes funding levels for EPA accounts and certain program activities as proposed in H.R. 2584 as reported by the House Appropriations Committee, and in the Senate subcommittee draft. Selected provisions regarding EPA program activities extracted from the House committee-reported bill are also presented. Only those provisions that are clearly identifiable by specific language or references contained in the bill are included. No comparable provisions were identified for the Senate subcommittee draft. Amendments that were voted on and pending during initial House floor debate at the end of July 2011 are not included.

Date of Report: December
5, 2011
Number of Pages:
Order Number: R41
Price: $29.95

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