Administration Proposes Cuts to Grants for FY 2017

March 28, 2017 - The Administration reportedly is proposing cuts to EPA’s budget for FY 2017, including a 10.6-percent reduction in categorical grants, which is the funding category that includes Sections 103 and 105 grants for state and local air agencies.  According to a spreadsheet that is being circulated, categorical grants would be cut from $1.079 billion to $964 million for FY 2017.  The $115-million reduction would have to be absorbed in the six months remaining in the fiscal year (which ends September 30, 2017).  The information does not indicate if the cuts would affect all the media grant programs equally or if some would be reduced more than others.  With respect to the proposed reduction to categorical grants, the document states: “These grants fund state environmental programs and offices, which are being significantly scaled back in the FY 2018 proposal. This smaller cut eases into that transition by reducing most grants by -10%, compared to a -44% reduction in the FY 2018 Blueprint.”  In addition to categorical grants, the proposed FY 2017 budget calls for reductions to research and development (including climate-related research), brownfield grants, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Superfund.  This document reflects an Administration proposal.  Congress must adopt appropriations legislation to fund the government.  Congress has not yet adopted final appropriations bills for FY 2017, which began on October 1, 2016.  Currently the government is operating under a Continuing Resolution that expires on April 28, 2017.  Congress must take steps to provide for federal funding after April 28, 2017, such as individual appropriations bills, an omnibus bill that rolls all federal funding into one bill or another CR that continues to extend federal funding at FY 2016 levels.