Appropriations

Early each year, the President proposes for Congress’ consideration a budget to run the federal government for the fiscal year beginning the following October 1.  During the ensuing months, Congress considers and adopts appropriations legislation for each federal agency, including the Environmental Protection Agency.  Included in EPA's appropriations are grants for state and local air pollution control agencies to carry out their responsibilities under the Clean Air Act.  These grants are an essential source of funding for state and local agency programs.  The grants are provided under two provisions of the Clean Air Act:  Sections 103 and 105.  In recent years, these grants have approximated $200 million annually.  Section 105, which is designed to support the implementation of programs to prevent and control air pollution and address primary (health) and secondary (welfare) ambient air quality standards, authorizes the federal government to provide grants equaling up to 60 percent of the cost of state and local programs, while state and local agencies must provide a 40-percent match. In practice, the federal share represents approximately 25 percent of total state/local air budgets, while state and local governments provide 75 percent. Section 103 authorizes the federal government to provide grants to conduct and promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects (including health and welfare effects), extent, prevention, and control of air pollution.  Typically Section 103 has been used for specialized air monitoring programs.  

 

President Obama proposed EPA's FY 2017 budget on February 9, 2015, calling for $268.2 million for federal grants to state and local air pollution control agencies, which is $40 million above FY 2016 levels and equal to last year’s budget request.  The budget also proposes to establish the “Climate Infrastructure Fund” under the “21st Century Clean Transportation Plan,” which would be separate from and in addition to EPA’s regular budget.  It includes $1.65 billion over 10 years to retrofit, replace or repower diesel equipment, especially school bus upgrades. The program calls for up to $300 million in FY 2017 for renewed and increased funds for the DERA program, which is scheduled to expire in 2016.  Because of substantial new clean air responsibilities state and local air pollution control agencies will face in FY 2017, NACAA supports the proposed grant increases and recommends that state and local air agencies be given flexibility in how the increases are spent.  

President Obama proposed EPA's FY 2016 budget on February 2, 2015, calling for $268.2 million for federal grants to state and local air pollution control agencies, which is $40 million above FY 2015 levels.  Additionally, the Administration is proposing $4 billion for the “Clean Power State Incentive Fund” that would “support states that choose to go beyond their carbon pollution reduction goals in the power sector” (i.e., the Clean Power Plan).  In light of the substantial new clean air responsibilities facing state and local air pollution control agencies in FY 2016, NACAA is supporting the proposed grant increases and is recommending that state and local air agencies be given flexibility in how the increases are spent.  NACAA also supports proposed Clean Power State Incentive Fund.

President Obama proposed EPA's FY 2015 budget on March 4, 2014, calling for $243.2 million for federal grants to state and local air pollution control agencies, which is $15 million above FY 2014 levels.  In light of the substantial new clean air responsibilities facing state and local air pollution control agencies in FY 2015, NACAA is recommending increases of $50 million above last year's levels, or $35 million above the President’s request, for a total of $278.2 million. On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed H.R. 83, which included Congressionally adopted appropriations language for FY 2015 that included $228 million for state and local air grants – the same amount as in FY 2014.

President Barack Obama proposed the FY 2014 budget for EPA on April 10, 2013, calling for an increase of $21.5 million for state and local air grants.  Following a year of budget delays and a federal government shutdown, Congress adopted an Omnibus Continuing Resolution on January 14, 2014 that called for $228.2 million for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105, which is $4.8 million above the final FY 2013 level, but $29 million below the President’s FY 2014 request.