Spending bill with $11.5 billion for EPA passes in House

The U.S. House of Representatives in July passed a six-bill spending package for fiscal year 2023, one of which is a $44.8 billion FY 2023 Interior-EPA spending bill that would fund EPA with $11.5 billion.

The EPA funding included in the larger bill remained the same as approved by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month. The funding levels proposed for EPA water programs remained the same as the subcommittee’s initial version of the bill.

According to the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), some key provisions of the Interior-EPA spending bill include:

  • $1.126 billion for the Drinking Water SRF and $1.752 billion for the Clean Water SRF;
  • $72 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program;
  • $51 million for Reducing Lead in Drinking Water grants;
  • $36 million for lead testing in schools and childcare centers; and
  • $10 million for the Midsize and Large Drinking Water System Infrastructure Resilience and Sustainability Program.

AMWA says the bill does not fund the President Joe Biden’s request of $25 million for a new grant program “to meet cybersecurity infrastructure needs within the water sector.” The House-passed bill also did not include funding for all 20 targeted water grant programs authorized by Congress in last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, instead providing a total of $65 million in FY23 funds for only 10 of them.

The Senate is expected to offer its own EPA spending plan later this summer. Lawmakers from both chambers will eventually reconcile any differences between the two proposals and vote on a final federal FY23 appropriations bill. The 2023 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, but AMWA says lawmakers are unlikely to finalize an FY 23 appropriations deal before that date.

Source: Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies

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