FY25 budget request for EPA maintains SRFs at current levels

The White House recently released its FY25 budget request for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The total budget request for EPA would be an increase of nearly $2 billion over FY24 levels, while the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) would be maintained at FY24 levels.

According to the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), the White House is proposing eliminating funding for congressionally directed spending from the SRFs. Thus, the administration was able to frame the budget as increasing SRF funding available for distribution by states. But AMWA says it is “highly questionable” whether Congress will abide by that request.

Notable funding levels requested for various EPA water programs include:

  • $1.126 billion for the Drinking Water SRF, equal to its current amount;
  • $1.639 billion for the Clean Water SRF, equal to its current amount;
  • $72 million for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan subsidies, about $7.5 million above current funding;
  • $64.479 million for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water Grants that help water systems replace lead service lines. This would nearly triple its current funding;
  • $36.5 million for lead testing in schools and childcare centers, about $8.5 million above the current level;
  • $5 million for the Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program, more than double current funding for this AMWA-supported initiative that would help water systems prepare for extreme weather and cyber threats; and
  • $6 million for Water Infrastructure Workforce Investment grants, $600,000 above current funding.

A report from AMWA notes that despite the slight funding increases being proposed, the overall EPA budget proposal is constrained by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which established budget caps for discretionary spending in FY25. AMWA said the Fiscal Responsibility Act essentially tied the president’s hands on requesting additional funds to what was already approved by Congress following negotiations between the White House and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

As for the next steps, Congress will now begin to review the budget and committees will hold hearings with EPA leadership to understand how the funding amounts requested equate to programmatic goals, AMWA said. This process will be followed by House and Senate appropriators crafting their own FY25 spending proposals in the coming months.

Sources: EPA, AMWA

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