Appropriations

FY 2019 Budget and Congressional Appropriations

Background

On February 12, 2018, the Administration released its proposed FY 2019 budget, which includes steep decreases in funding for state and local air grants and EPA. The proposed budget, which now goes to Congress for consideration, calls for the following: $152 million for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act, which is a decrease of 33 percent ($75 million) from the FY 2017 amount of $227 million; $6.1 billion for EPA in FY 2019, which is a decrease of $1.8 billion, or 23 percent, from the FY 2017 level (some comparisons are made to FY 2017 because FY 2018 is still under a Continuing Resolution and the final appropriations have not been made); $10 million for grants under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), as compared to $30 million appropriated in FY 2017; transition of the PM2.5 monitoring program from Section 103 authority (which does not require matching grants) to Section 105 (which does require matching funds); $27 million for Multipurpose Grants (“States would be able to spend this funding on any statutorily mandated delegated duty.”); there were no funds appropriated for this in FY 2017; no funding for Targeted Airshed Grants, which received $20 million in FY 2017; 20.5-percent reduction in full-time EPA staff, from 15,416 to 12,250; and elimination of a number of programs including those for Climate Change Research and Partnership, Atmospheric Protection, Indoor Air, Radon, Pollution Prevention and Environmental Education as well as a list of geographic programs. For further information, click here and here.

Key Actions

August 1 2018 – The U.S. Senate has voted 92-6 adopt H.R. 6147 – the FY 2019 appropriations bill for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies – which includes EPA’s budget.  The bill calls for $228.2 million in funding for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 (the same level as FY 2018), $8.06 billion for EPA’s total budget, $50 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, $50 million for Targeted Airshed Grants, $27 million for Multipurpose Grants and instructions to retain fine particulate matter monitoring funds under Clean Air Act Section 103 authority rather than shifting to Section 105 authority where matching funds are required.  During debate on the floor, no air quality-related amendments were adopted.  When the bill was marked up by the Appropriations Committee in June 2018, riders were included that would prohibit the issuance of regulations calling for Title V permits for GHG emissions from biological processes associated with livestock production and prohibit the issuance of a rule that includes mandatory reporting of GHG emissions from manure management systems.  As it did during the House’s debate on its companion bill, the White House issued a “Statement of Administration Policy” on the Senate bill.  The Administration raised concerns about the amounts in the bill that exceeded the President’s budget request (specifically mentioning EPA's total funding, categorical grants [e.g., state and local grants] and DERA) and indicated that the Administration looks forward to working with Congress to address those concerns.  The House adopted its companion bill – H.R. 6147 – on July 19, 2018.  The bills must now be considered by a conference committee that will reconcile the differing provisions in the measures.  Since both bills call for the same amount for state and local air grants ($228.2 million), it is likely that amount would be included in the final law.  NACAA has prepared a chart comparing the House and Senate versions to the President’s request.

July 19, 2018 – The U.S. House of Representatives has voted 217-199 to adopt H.R. 6147 – the FY 2019 appropriations bill for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies – which includes EPA’s budget.  The bill contains level funding for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 ($228.2 million). It also calls for $7.96 billion for EPA’s total budget, $100 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program and $55 million for Targeted Airshed Grants; in addition, fine particulate matter monitoring funds would remain under Clean Air Act Section 103 authority rather than shifting to Section 105 authority where matching funds are required.  During debate on the floor, several amendments were adopted:  a prohibition of funding to enforce the “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-duty Engines and Vehicles – Phase 2” with respect to trailers (passed by voice vote); a prohibition on funds to implement the Social Cost of Carbon rule (passed 215-199); a prohibition on funding for action related to any rule or recommendation pursuant to Section 115 of the Clean Air Act (passed by voice vote); and a prohibition on the use of funds for enforcing EPA’s methane rule (passed 215-194).  Two amendments that were to be introduced, but were ultimately withdrawn included one to eliminate funding for DERA  and one to prohibit the use of funds to implement or enforce EPA’s 2015 ground-level ozone rule.  During its action in May, the Appropriations Committee had included riders that would prohibit the issuance of regulations calling for Title V permits for GHG emissions from biological processes associated with livestock production and prohibit the on issuance of a rule that includes mandatory reporting of GHG emissions from manure management systems.  During the consideration on the House floor, the White House issued its “Statement of Administration Policy,” which provides comment on legislation.  In it, the Administration raised concerns about the specific amounts in the bill that exceeded the President’s budget request and indicated that the Administration looks forward to working with Congress to address those concerns. The Senate is expected to vote on its companion bill next week.  The Senate bill calls for the same amount for state and local air grants ($228.2 million), so that amount could very well be included in the final law.  With respect to controversial riders, since the majority/minority split is closer in the Senate, that body is less likely to include them in its bill.  

June 14, 2018 – The Senate Appropriations Committee marked up and approved a bill containing EPA funding for FY 2019 by a vote of 31-0.  The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies had marked up the bill on June 12, 2018.  The bill calls for $228.2 million for state and local air quality programs under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act (the same level of funding contained in the companion House bill and appropriated in FY 2018); $8.058 billion for EPA (equal to FY 2018 levels and higher than the $7.96 billion in the House bill); $50 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program (as compared to $100 million in the House and $75 million in FY 2018); $50 million for Targeted Airshed Grants ($55 million in the House and $40 million in FY 2018); retention of fine particulate matter monitoring grants under Clean Air Act Section 103 authority, rather than shifting to Section 105 authority where matching funds are required; and $27million for multipurpose grants ($0 in the House bill and $10 million in FY 2018).   A floor vote is expected to be held later in the summer.  A floor vote in the Senate is expected to be held later in the summer.  The House Appropriations Committee marked up its bill on June 6, 2018 and floor action is also planned for this summer.  After that time, a conference committee will be tasked with aligning the amounts that differ in the two bills.  Since both bills call for $228.2 million for state and local air grants, it is likely that will be the amount ultimately appropriated. For further information, click here (EPA's portion of the report language begins on p. 61), here (the section on EPA begins on p. 62 of the bill, with additional language on pp. 128-129) and here (NACAA summary table).

June 6, 2018 – The House Appropriations Committee marked up and approved a bill containing FY 2019 appropriations for EPA.  The legislation retains many of the provisions the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies approved on May 15, 2018.  The bill calls for $228.2 million for state and local air quality programs under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act (the same level of funding appropriated in FY 2018), $7.96 billion for EPA’s total budget, $100 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, $55 million for Targeted Airshed Grants and retention of fine particulate matter monitoring grants under Clean Air Act Section 103 authority rather than shifting to Section 105 authority where matching funds are required.  The bill must now be sent to the full House of Representatives for consideration on the floor, which has not yet been scheduled but is expected to occur later in the summer.  For further information, click here (EPA's portion of the report language begins on p. 49; the charts associated with EPA begin on p. 148, with the specific reference to state and local air grants on p. 155) and here (the section on EPA begins on p. 64 of the bill, with additional language on pp. 128-129).

April 3, 2018 – NACAA submitted testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies recommending an increase in grants to state and local air pollution control agencies under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act.  Specifically, NACAA recommended that Congress increase state and local air grants by $75 million above FY 2018 levels (i.e., approximately $151 million above the Administration’s request), for a total of $303 million.  An increase of $75 million would constitute level funding from FY 2004 if adjusted for inflation.  NACAA opposed the Administration’s proposal to cut state and local air grants by 33 percent (from $228 million in FY 2018 to $152 million in FY 2019).  NACAA also recommended that state and local agencies be provided with flexibility to use the increased funds on the highest priority programs in their areas. Finally, NACAA requested that grants for fine particulate matter monitoring remain under CAA Section 103 authority, where matching funds are not required, rather than being shifted to Section 105 authority.