House subcommittee proposal would slash EPA budget by 20 percent

In June, a House Appropriations Subcommittee approved a spending proposal for FY25 that would cut the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by $1.8 billion, bringing the total appropriation for the agency to $7.36 billion for the next fiscal year, down from $9.16 billion in FY24.

The bill, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, would provide a total discretionary allocation of $38.478 billion, which is $72 million (0.2%) below the Fiscal Year 2024 enacted level and $4.407 billion (10%) below President Biden’s budget request.

Earlier this year, six associations representing the water utility sector wrote to Congress asking to fully fund FY25 water infrastructure programs, urging against cuts to the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs. One of the associations, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), noted that while Republican appropriators are seeking reductions to EPA’s total budget, appropriations for several AMWA-backed water infrastructure programs would be maintained at FY24 levels under the new spending bill.

According to news brief from AMWA, the spending proposal would allocate $883 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) and $1.203 billion for the Clean Water SRF (CWSRF). AMWA said those levels are both significantly reduced from the FY24 levels of $1.126 billion for the DWSRF and $1.639 billion for the CWSRF. Of the total $2.086 billion SRF appropriation proposed for FY25, $1.033 billion would be set aside for 895 drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater management project earmarks, according to AMWA.

AMWA said the full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on the Interior-EPA spending bill on July 9, while the Senate is expected to present its own EPA spending plan later this summer. Congress will then negotiate a final spending plan for the 2025 fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1, but the association said it is unlikely a final FY25 appropriations agreement will be reached by then.

Sources: Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies; House Appropriations Committee

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