Appropriations

FY 2014 Congressional Appropriations

Background

President Barack Obama proposed the FY 2014 budget for EPA on April 10, 2013, calling for an increase of $21.5 million over FY 2012 enacted levels ($25.9 million above the amount contained in the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution [CR]) for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act, for a total of $257.2 million.  The request for EPA’s total FY 2014 budget was $8.15 billion, which was a decrease of $296.4 million from the FY 2012 enacted level and $348 million from the CR.  Congress failed to adopt appropriations legislation for most of the federal government by September 30, 2013, which is the end of the fiscal year.  As a result, a partial government shutdown began on October 1, 2013, lasting for 16 days.  After several Continuing Resolutions that kept the government in operation following the shutdown, Congress adopted an omnibus appropriations bill on January 14, 2014 that funded the federal government for the remainder of FY 2014.  It included $228.2 million for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105, which was $4.8 million above the final FY 2013 level, but $29 million below the President’s FY 2014 request.

Key Actions

January 14, 2014 – Congress adopted a massive omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY 2014.  The bill called for $228.2 million for state and local air pollution control grants under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act, an increase of $4.8 million above the FY 2013 enacted level, after sequestration. The bill also provided $20 million for funding under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), which is $1.1 million above FY 2013 post-sequestration levels and $14 million above the President’s request.  The omnibus package did not contain the more sweeping air-related “riders” contemplated during the House debates (e.g., prohibitions on regulations for greenhouse gases [GHGs] from utilities), but does include several air-specific provisions, nonetheless, such as: requiring EPA to continue funding PM2.5 monitoring under Section 103 of the Clean Air Act; directing EPA to allocate state and local air quality funds using the same formula as in FY 2012; prohibiting EPA from implementing regulations calling for GHG Title V permits related to livestock; and calling upon EPA to collaborate with state, local and tribal agencies on updating cost and modeling information related to dispersion models used for visibility and regional haze.  This omnibus bill incorporates agreed-upon budget caps and thus averts the second round of sequestration cuts that were to have taken place in mid-January without Congressional intervention. Associated documents include categorical grant information, resources by appropriationHouse summarySenate summarybill text (EPA begins on page 775), explanatory statements (use PDF page numbers; Regional Haze-page 35; Grant Allocation-page 38; Livestock-page 53; and Grant Tables-pages 81-88).

October 8, 2013 – NACAA provided a report on the impacts of the federal government shutdown on state and local air agencies. State and local agencies generally reported that the short-term impacts of an EPA shutdown would likely be minimal. However, while the effects of a longer-term shutdown are still unknown, many could be troubling, including delays in monitoring, permitting, SIP development, enforcement, rule development and emissions inventory work; an inability to report and/or retrieve essential data from EPA databases; delays in the issuance of grant funds; cessation in certain permitting work; and furloughs of staff.

October 1, 2013 – The federal government began a partial shutdown because Congress did not adopt appropriations legislation to fund the government for FY 2014 by the deadline of September 30, 2013.  The shutdown lasted for 16 days.

August 1, 2013 – The Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, released a proposed funding bill and explanatory statement for FY 2014, providing greater funding for EPA than the President’s request and the House bill. The Senate bill called for $240.3 million for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105, which is $5 million more than FY 2013 levels, and $49.4 million above the House bill ($190.9 million), but approximately $17 million less than the President’s request of $257.2 million. The Senate bill, like the House version, would retain PM2.5 monitoring grants under Section 103, rather than shifting it to Section 105 and directed EPA to allocate state and local air grants according to the same formula used in FY 2012. However, the bill does not have the list of policy riders on greenhouse gases and other issues that the House version contains.

July 23, 2013 – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies passed a bill containing FY 2014 funding for EPA. Under the bill, air quality grants for state and local agencies under Sections 103 and 105 would be $190.9 million, which is a reduction of $33 million (14.7 percent) from the FY 2013 level of $223.9 million and a reduction of $66.3 million (25.8 percent) to the President’s requested amount of $257.2 million. Included in the bill are several specific provisions affecting the air program, such as, among others: retaining PM2.5 monitoring funds under Section 103 authority, rather than being shifted to Section 105 authority; prohibiting EPA from finalizing, implementing or enforcing the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards; and prohibiting the use of funds for the development, implementation or enforcement of any Section 111 regulation applicable to greenhouse gas emissions by any new or existing electric utility generating unit. EPA prepared a memo describing the riders.

April 29, 2013 – NACAA submitted written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, similar to that provided to the House on April 25, 2013.  

April 25, 2013 – NACAA submitted written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies supporting the Administration’s FY 2014 request for grants to state and local air agencies under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act.  In addition, NACAA expressed concern about EPA’s proposal to transfer funding for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) monitoring from Section 103 to Section 105 authority and requested that it be left under Section 103 authority.

April 10, 2013 – President Barack Obama proposed the FY 2014 budget for EPA.  See pages 18 and 105 for details on air grants and page 23 for “Taking Action on Climate Change and Improving Air Quality” (page 23).

Additional Information