EPA Proposes 30-Percent Cut in Air Grants for FY 18

April 3, 2017 – An EPA memorandum (dated March 21, 2017) providing information about the Administration’s upcoming FY 2018 budget proposal has become public, providing specific details that have heretofore been unavailable about the implications of the Administration’s “Budget Blueprint” released on March 16, 2017.  The latest information indicates that air grants (under Sections 103/105 of the Clean Air Act) would be reduced by 31 percent from FY 2016 levels (FY 2017 levels are currently very similar to FY 2016 levels, due to the Continuing Resolution under which the federal government is operating).  This means that grants would go from $228.2 million in FY 2016 to $159.5 million in FY 2018.  Previous information indicated cuts of 45 percent were being proposed for categorical grants (e.g., air, water, solid waste grants), but did not break down the information by media.   This provides greater specificity related to individual media grants, including air.  With respect to EPA’s overall budget, the agency would experience a 31-percent reduction in funding, to $5.7 billion, and a reduction of 24.9 percent in staffing levels, for a total of 11,548 full-time equivalents.  Under the proposal, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants would be reduced from $50 million in FY 2016 to $15 million, the Targeted Airshed grants would be eliminated ($20 million in FY 2016) and the Multipurpose Grants would be eliminated ($21 million in FY 2016).  The figures in the memorandum differ in certain respects from preliminary data NACAA had obtained from an Office of Management and Budget document on February 28, 2017).