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House Appropriations Subcommittee Slashes FY2012 EPA Funding

July 8, 2011

On Thursday July 7, the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee approved an FY2012 spending bill, which includes deep cuts to the budgets of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and riders blocking EPA action with relevance for agriculture.  The Subcommittee approved the bill in 8-5 party-line vote.

The bill  would reduce the EPA FY2012 funding by $1.5 billion, which is an 18% decrease from FY2011. This is $1.8 billion less than what the Obama Administration had requested for the department, and brings total EPA annual down to FY2009 levels.

The bill would reduce funding levels of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds, by 55% and 14% respectively.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is targeted for cuts of $50 million (or 17%) below the FY2011 and $100 million (or 29%) less than the President requested in his FY12 budget.  In addition to funding EPA actions in the Great Lakes, this Initiative has also provided USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service with $34.6 million in EPA funding to conduct Farm Bill conservation program activities intended to protect Great Lakes water quality.

The Subcommittee has posted a summary of the bill on its website.

Also included in the bill were three riders of interest to farmers and rural areas that would:

  • Block EPA from finalizing a guidance document that clarifies which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act;
  • Removes Clean Water Act safeguards to regulate pesticide discharges; and
  • Prevent the regulation of stormwater discharges from a host of silvicultural activities.

The House Appropriations Committee plans to do a full committee markup of the bill on Tuesday, July 12.

Categories: Budget and Appropriations, Conservation, Energy & Environment

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