House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2018 EPA Funding

July 18, 2017 – The House Appropriations Committee marked up and approved, by a vote of 30 to 21, a bill to provide funding for EPA in FY 2018. It is unknown when the bill will go before the full House for a vote. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies approved the bill on July 12, 2017.  Additionally, on July 17, 2017 the Committee released the draft committee report on the legislation, which provides additional details and instructions related to FY 2018 funding. The Committee-approved bill provides level funding (compared to the FY 2017 enacted level) – $228.2 million – for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act (the Administration requested $159.5 3 million for FY 2018). The bill includes $7.5 billion in FY 2018 for EPA’s overall budget (the Administration requested $5.7 billion; the FY 2017 appropriation was $8.1 billion). The bill calls for retaining funding for fine particulate matter monitoring under Section 103 authority, rather than transitioning to Section 105 authority as EPA proposed, includes $75 million for grants under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program and provides $40 million for the Targeted Airshed Grant program. Among the riders to the bill is a postponement of the implementation of the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) such that governors would submit their designations by October 26, 2024, EPA would promulgate final designations by October 26, 2025 and states would submit their State Implementation Plans under Section 110(a)(1) by October 26, 2026. Further, the rider would exempt permitted sources from the 2015 ozone NAAQS under certain circumstances, instead allowing them to comply with the previous, less stringent ozone standard. During the full committee mark-up, several amendments related to air quality were offered. Rep. Betty McCollum (DMN) offered an amendment that would remove several air quality-related riders from the bill (e.g., the extended schedule for implementation of the ozone NAAQS, restrictions on greenhouse gas reporting), but it was not adopted. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) offered an amendment intended to ensure that the 10 EPA Regional Offices would remain open. This failed, with opponents arguing that recent testimony from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt implied that this was not a concern and that Congress would have the ultimate say in any such decisions through the appropriations process. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) proposed report language requiring agencies to prepare for and mitigate the effects of climate change. This amendment also failed. The report and bill text address several airrelated provisions, including the following: grant allocation (page 53 of the report states, “Further, if EPA is proposing to change State allocation formulas for the distribution of appropriated funds, then EPA should include such proposals in the Congressional justification”); ozone provisions (page 136 of the bill); Energy Star and permit effectiveness funding (page 56 of the report); geographic programs (page 57 of the report for the narrative and page 155 for a chart); DERA and Targeted Airshed Grants (page 65 of the report for the narrative and page 159 for the chart); and State and Local Air Grants (page 160 of the report for the chart). Please see:  https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/23918.pdf (EPA section begins on page 52 and the EPA charts begin on page 153), https://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fy18_interior_xml.pdf and http://www.4cleanair.org/sites/default/files/Documents/EPA_Memo_on_House_Ap p_Mark-up-2017-07-19.pdf.