Congress Adopts FY 2017 Appropriations Bill

May 4, 2017 – Congress has adopted H.R. 244, the 2017 Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which funds the federal government for the remainder of FY 2017 (ending September 30, 2017). The House adopted the bill on May 3, 2017 by a vote of 319-118 and the Senate adopted it on May 4, 2017 by a vote of 79-18.  The President is expected to sign it before the short-term Continuing Resolution adopted last week expires on May 5, 2017.  The provisions in the appropriations bill include the following, among others (the information regarding page numbers refers to the documents linked below):  EPA’s budget is set at $8.06 billion, as compared to $8.14 billion in FY 2016 (page 36 of report); state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 will be $228.2 million, which is equal to FY 2016 levels (page 44 of report); State and Tribal Assistance Grants will undergo a rescission of $61 million (the details about how the cuts will be distributed among the media grants are not yet available) (page 45 of report); EPA is directed to allocate state and local air grants using the same formula as in FY 2015 and to provide some additional funds to the regions with the highest need (page 44 of report); Targeted Airshed grants will be $30 million, as compared to $20 million in FY 2016 (page 43 of report and page 838 of bill); Multipurpose grants will be eliminated, as compared to $21 million in FY 2016 (page 100 of report); PM2.5 monitoring grants will remain under Section 103 authority instead of being shifted to Section 105, which requires matching funds (page 839 of bill); Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants will be $60 million, as compared to $50 million in FY 2016 (page 838 of  bill); EPA’s workforce will be held at its current level of 15,000 positions, which is below FY 2016 levels (page 36 of report); EPA must provide a report within 90 days examining the possibility of allowing states to receive regulatory relief with respect to the “burden of implementing…potentially overlapping” National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone that were set in 2008 and 2015; and EPA and the Departments of Energy and Agriculture are directed to establish policies that “reflect the carbon-neutrality of forest bioenergy and recognize biomass as a renewable energy source…” (page 901 of bill).  For bill language, click here (EPA section begins on page 824).  For report language, click here (EPA section begins on page 36 and charts begin on page 93).