House Adopts FY 2019 EPA Appropriations Bill

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  Two amendments that were to be introduced, but were ultimately withdrawn included one to eliminate funding for DERA  and one to prohibit the use of funds to implement or enforce EPA’s 2015 ground-level ozone rule.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.