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FY2007 Environmental Protection Agency Appropriations (3-21-07)

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Funding for the Environmental Protection Agency is allocated to a number of environmental monitoring, compliance and research programs in the areas of clean water, clean air, land preservation, ecosystem restoration, and cleanup of hazardous substances.

For analysis of hearings held by the House and the Senate on EPA appropriations, click here.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 Environmental Protection Agency Appropriations Process

Account

FY06 Enacted
($million)

House Action
($million)

Senate Action
($million)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (total)
7,625.4
7,315.5
7,560 
NA
7,560 
Science and Technology
730.8
788.3
808.0
NA 
730
Hazardous Substances Superfund
1,242.1
1,259.0
1,256.8 
 NA
1,242 
Environmental Programs and Management
2,346.7
2,306.6
2,336.4 
NA 
2,336 
Leaking Underground Storage Trust Fund
79.9
72.7
72.8 
 NA
73 
State and Tribal Assistance Grants
3,214
2,797
3,009 
NA 
3,009 
-- Clean Water State Revolving Funds
886.8
687.6
687.6 
NA 
688 
-- Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds
837.5
841.5
841.5 
 NA
837
-- Total Brownfields Spending
162.5
163.3
 
 NA
162 

* Numbers are approximate and may change.

President's Request

The fiscal year (FY) 2007 budget request for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) totals $7.3 billion, a 5.1% decrease from the FY 2006 enacted level. Despite the overall decrease, the budget calls for a $55 million (+44%) increase to homeland security efforts as well as a $58 million (+8%) increase in science and technology funding. Other major changes in the FY 2007 request include $49.5 million for a new Diesel Emissions Reduction program, the elimination of the Clean School Bus Initiative (funded at $6.9 million in FY 2006), and the elimination of environmental education funding ($8.9 million in FY 2006).

EPA funds are divided among five distinct goals. In the FY 2007 request, clean and safe water programs would receive the largest share of the agency's budget (37%). The remaining funds would be distributed between land preservation and restoration programs (23%), healthy communities and ecosystems programs (17%), clean air and global climate change programs (13%), and compliance and environmental stewardship programs (10%).

Clean and safe water programs are slated for a $400 million (-15%) cut from the FY 2006 enacted level of $3.1 billion. The majority of the cut can be attributed to a decrease of nearly $200 million (-22%) in funding for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the EPA's major wastewater infrastructure program. The budget would also cut $9.7 million (-58%) from targeted wetlands grants. In contrast, water research would see a boost of an additional $4 million (+9%) for drinking water research and $5.7 million (+11%) for water quality research. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund would receive a modest increase of $4 million (+0.5%) to $841.5 million.

Wetlands and coastal programs are funded under the EPA's Healthy Communities and Ecosystems goal, which is slated for an overall cut of $20 million (-2%). Included in this cut is a $5.4 million (-23%) decrease for coastal ecosystem protection in the National Estuary Program (NEP). Minor cuts are also proposed for regional restoration programs in the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Champlain, and the Long Island Sound; however, the Chesapeake Bay restoration project would receive a $4 million (+19%) increase. The request also includes $49.6 million for the Great Lakes Legacy Act, a 71% increase over the FY 2006 enacted level. The EPA's budget document states that "EPA anticipates that FY 2007 funding [for the Great Lakes Legacy Act] will result in cleanup of a half million cubic yards of contaminated sediments."

Funding for clean air and global climate change programs would increase by $8.4 million (+0.9%) to $932 million in FY 2007. The increased funds would be devoted primarily to outdoor air pollution and ozone layer protection programs, which would rise by $13.3 million (+2%) and $5.0 million (+30%) respectively. Research funding would be cut by $4 million (-24%) for air toxics research and by $1 million (-6%) for global change research.

The FY 2007 request includes $16.5 million for oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response, up 5.8% from FY 2006. The administration also proposes minor increases of $16.9 million (+1.4%) for Superfund and $0.75 million (+0.5%) for brownfields projects. Funds for leaking underground storage tanks would be reduced by $7.2 million (-9%). Overall, funding for land preservation and restoration projects would grow by $33 million (+2%).

EPA budget documents are available online.

House Action

On May 18, 2006 the full House passed their version of appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within the Interior and Related Agencies bill (H.R. 5386). EPA would receive $7.56 billion, $55 million below last year and $254 million above the President's request. Science and Technology would receive about $808 million, $77.2 million more than last year and $20 million above the request. Environmental programs and management would be funded at $2.3 billion, $10 million below last year and $30 million above the request. State and Tribal Assistance grants which protect public health by helping states and communities comply with the Clean Water and the Safe Drinking Water Act would be funded at about $3 billion, $207 million below last year and $209 million above the request.

During floor debate of the full House, section 425 of H.R. 5386 was stricken from the bill because a point of order was raised indicating this section was legislative language. The section provided a sense of Congress about global warming. The section stated:

"SEC. 425. (a) The Congress finds that--
(1) greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere are causing average temperatures to rise at a rate outside the range of natural variability and are posing a substantial risk of rising sea-levels, altered patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and increased frequency and severity of floods and droughts;
(2) There is a growing scientific consensus that human activity is a substantial cause of greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere; and
(3) mandatory steps will be required to slow or stop the growth of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
(b) It is the sense of the Congress that there should be enacted a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives on emissions of greenhouse gases that slow, stop, and reverse the growth of such emissions at a rate and in a manner that (1) will not significantly harm the United States economy; and (2) will encourage comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions."

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) raised a point of order against the proposed language. Immediately after the section was stricken, Rep. David Obey (D-WI) offered an amendment (H.AMDT.846) to address global climate change by modifying the amount provided for EPA Programs and Management by $1. By offering this amendment, the full House was able to debate the issues regarding climate change for 15 minutes. Congressmen Young, Obey, Norman Dicks (D-WA), John Olver (D-MA), Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Thomas Petri (R-WI) participated in the debate.

The full text of the debate is part of the congressional record and is available online from Thomas, at the Library of Congress.

The House of Representatives considers funding for the Environmental Protection Agency within the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. Chaired by Representative Charles Taylor (R-NC), other members include Representatives Dicks (D-WA) (Ranking Member), Wamp (R-TN), Peterson (R-PA), Sherwood (R-PA), Istook (R-OK), Aderholt (R-AL), Doolittle (R-CA), Simpson (R-ID), Moran (D-VA), Hinchey (D-NY), Olver (D-MA) and Mollohan (D-WV).

Senate Action

The Senate did not complete action on the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2007 before the 109th Congress adjourned on December 15, 2006. Instead Congress passed four continuing resolutions to keep the agencies affected by this bill running on either fiscal year 2006 or the House-approved funding levels, whichever was the lower amount of the two. See the continuing resolution action below for more details on how the fiscal year 2007 budget was eventually finished by the 110th Congress.

The Senate considers funding for the Environmental Protection Agency within the Interior and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee: Chaired by Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), other members include Senators Dorgan (D-ND) (Ranking Member), Stevens (R-AK), Cochran (R-MS), Dominici (R-NM), Bennett (R-UT), Gregg (R-NH), Craig (R-ID), Allard (R-CO), Byrd (D-WV), Leahy (D-VT), Reid (D-NV), Feinstein (D-CA), Mikulski (D-MD) and Kohl (D-WI).

Continuing Resolution Action

The 110th Congress Finishes the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget

The Senate passed a year-long continuing resolution for the 9 unfinished appropriations bills for fiscal year 2007 (H.J. Res. 20) on February 14, 2007 without any significant changes to the House version of this continuing resolution (see below). The President signed the bill into law (Public Law 110-5) on February 15, 2007. All federal agencies, except the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, will have their budgets defined by this continuing resolution through September 30, 2007. Departments with potential unstipulated funds have 30 days to inform Congress how they will distribute these funds.

House Passes Fourth Continuing Resolution with Some Increases for Science and Education

Even though the President released his fiscal year 2008 budget request on February 5th, Congress still has to finish work on the budget for fiscal year 2007. The nascent 110th Congress decided in January to consider passing another continuing resolution for the full year rather than try to pass 9 separate appropriation bills leftover from the 109th Congress.

On January 30th, the House passed a new continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 20) that would fund most of the government at the lowest of two possible levels either the fiscal year 2006 or the House-approved levels. The resolution worked out jointly by House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) and Senate Appropriations Chairman, Robert Byrd (D-WV) added some adjustments that would increase funding for some research and education. The resolution explicitly eliminates earmarks and hopes to put a moratorium on earmarking until a reformed process is put in place.

The adjustments would include a proposed 6 percent increase compared to fiscal year 2006 funding for the National Science Foundation, so the agency would receive an increase of $335 million for a total budget of $5,916.2 million and $4,665.95 million would be allocated for Research and Related Activities, a 7.7 percent increase for that account. The Office of Science in the Department of Energy would receive a 5.6 percent increase compared to fiscal year 2006 funding for a total budget of $3,796.4 million. The Office would see a $200 million increase plus $130 million of previously earmarked funds that can be re-allocated for other purposes. Also within the Department of Energy, the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources program would receive $1.5 billion, an increase of $300 million to accelerate research and development activities for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.

No adjustments for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were included in the joint resolution, so NOAA and NASA would have flat budgets. However, some funds for research and development would be available because earmarks would be eliminated. In addition, the resolution specifies funding levels for NASA's science mission as follows: Science, Aeronautics and Exploration would receive $10 billion, of which $5.2 billion would be for science, $890 million would be for aeronautics research and $3.4 billion would be for exploration systems.

The U. S. Geological Survey would receive $977.6 million, which includes a restoration of the President's requested cut to the Mineral Resources Program (about a $22 million increase) and a small increase over the fiscal year 2006 budget. The Smithsonian Institution would receive $533 million, a decrease compared to a budget of $618 million for fiscal year 2006. Congress did specify, however, that the Smithsonian would not be required to fund a specific grant for the Council of American Overseas Research Centers or the reopening of the Patent Office Building. This may free up some funds for research, infrastructure and fixed costs.

The resolution also would include increases for Pell Grants for undergraduate education, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for water and wastewater infrastructure projects in every state, for parks and other lands to cover budget shortfalls and for the Forest Service/Wildland fire management account to meet shortfalls caused by the intense 2006 wildfire season.

The legislation now must be considered by the Senate and then if necessary voted on again by both chambers. If the legislation passes, it would then need to be signed by the President. The current continuing resolution expires on February 15th, so Congress does not have much time left. If Congress is unable to pass this legislation or some amended resolution, the government will shut down the day after Valentine's Day.

More information about the federal research and development budget for fiscal year 2007 is available at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

New 110th Congress Considers Fiscal Year 2007 Budget

The 110th Congress, which started their first session on January 4, 2007, has indicated that they plan to extend the continuing resolution (CR) passed by the 109th Congress for the full year, rather than trying to work out a new budget for the 9 unfinished bills. This means that the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy's Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have started FY 2007 without the potential budget increases proposed by the President and the previous Congress. The 109th Congress had supported the President's American Competitiveness Initiative by increasing funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Science by 15 percent, the National Science Foundation by almost 8 percent and the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories by 21 percent in appropriations work.

These proposed increases will be lost if the CR is extended for a full year. The 110th Congress has indicated that it might consider "limited adjustments" to some appropriations when they bring forward a new CR that will be extended until September 30, 2007. Adjustments might include bringing all programs to at least their FY 2006 funding levels to avoid some of the steep cuts proposed by the House or Senate or providing specific funding increases for some specific programs.

If the CR is extended for a full year without any adjustments, here is how federal agencies that support Earth science research and development would be affected. The National Science Foundation would see a reduction in funding of about $439 million and this reduction would translate into a loss of about 800 new research grants for FY 2007. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would be funded at the House-proposed level of $3.4 billion, which is $288 million below the President's request, almost $1 billion below the Senate-proposed level and more than $500 million below the FY 2006 budget. Such a significant reduction for NOAA would impede progress for core programs, such as the National Weather Service functions and stifle the development of new programs, such as the National Water Quality Monitoring Network, a national Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and the implementation of the recently updated Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would receive almost the same funding as they received in FY 2006 with no significant increases or decreases to research and development funding.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has a useful summary of the affect of the CR on the FY 2007 budget for research and development (R&D) that is available online. The AAAS analysis concludes that the federal investment in basic and applied research funding will decrease for the third straight year, that the federal investment for development is increasing, and that the increases for research and development will go primarily to the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense research and development budget for FY 2007 is a record-breaking $76.8 billion, thanks to a 4.8 percent increase (about $3.5 billion). The Department of Homeland Security research and development funding will be slashed by 22 percent, giving them a FY 2007 budget of about $1.0 billion.

Please see the American Association for the Advancement of Science, R&D Budget and Policy Program for more details on the federal budget for R&D.

Third Continuing Resolution: December 8, 2006 to February 15, 2007

The 109th Congress returned from the mid-term election recess and was unable to complete any of the unfinished appropriation bills. Only the appropriations for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security were finished in September and only these large departments started fiscal year 2007 on October 1, 2006 with new budgets. Before turning out the lights, Congress did pass another continuing resolution (H.J. Res. 102) through February 15, 2007. The continuing resolution (CR) means that all of the other federal agencies will be funded at the lowest funding level of three options, the fiscal year 2006 budget, the House approved FY 2007 budget or the Senate committee approved FY 2007 budget.

One quirk of the current CR is that congressionally-designated FY 2007 funding for specific projects (earmarks) are not specified, allowing the funds designated for these earmarks to be used for other projects. This gives federal agencies with earmarks some flexibility in transferring funds to alleviate shortfalls in core programs.

H.J. Res. 102 is available from Thomas, thomas.loc.gov

Second Continuing Resolution: November 17, 2006 to December 8, 2006

The 109th Congress was unable to reach any agreements or compromises on the 9 unfinished appropriations bills and passed a second continuing resolution to keep the government funded at some level before adjourning for the Thanksgiving holiday.

H.J. Res.100 is available from Thomas, thomas.loc.gov

First Continuing Resolution: October 1, 2006 to November 17, 2006

The 109th Congress adjourned on September 29th with lots of work left to complete when they return after the mid-term elections for at least one lame duck session from November 13-17. The biggest task to complete is the fiscal year 2007 budget for much of the federal government. Congress is likely to try to combine many separate bills into one large appropriation bill called an omnibus and if this happens, then policymakers are also likely to try to balance budget priorities for such an omnibus by applying a small rescission (probably about 1%) across all programs. It is also possible that Congress will not be able complete their budget work in November and may return for an additional lame duck session in December.

Congress passed only two of 12 fiscal year 2007 appropriation bills - one for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and one for the Department of Defense. The DHS appropriations bill contains a continuing resolution for the other appropriation bills that have not been completed. The resolution extends to November 17 and maintains the funding of all government agencies, except DHS and DOD, at the lower value of three possible levels: the fiscal year 2006 budget, the House-approved funding or the Senate committee approved funding. The House completed work on all 11 of their appropriation bills, however, the 12 Senate bills have not been considered by the full chamber and thus remain with their respective committees.

Appropriations Hearings

 

Sources: EPA budget documents, Environment & Energy Daily.

Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program at govt@agiweb.org.

Contributed by Jenny Fisher, AGI/AAPG 2006 Spring Intern and Linda Rowan, Government Affairs Director.

Last Update March 20, 2007.


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