House Appropriations Committee Marks Up EPA FY 2017 Budget

June 15, 2016 – The House Appropriations Committee marked up and approved a bill containing EPA funding for FY 2017 by a vote of 31-18. Just prior to the mark-up, the House Appropriations Committee released drafts of the bill and the associated committee report that provided information about the measure.  Some of this information, including a draft of the bill, had previously been made available at the time of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies’ mark-up of the bill on May 25, 2016.  The bill calls for $7.98 billion in FY 2017 for EPA’s budget (the President requested $8.27 billion).  It also would provide $228.2 million for state and local air grants under Sections 103 and 105 of the Clean Air Act, which is equal to the FY 2016 appropriation and $40 million less than the President’s request.  Other air-related provisions include the following: 1) $100 million for grants under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program (p. 78 of the bill); 2) $40 million for the Targeted Airshed Grant program (p. 78); 3) retention of funding for fine particulate matter monitoring under Section 103 authority, rather than transitioning to Section 105 authority as EPA proposed (p. 79); 4) prohibition on funds being used for Section 111(b) rules related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new units (p. 144); 5) prohibition on funds being used for Sections 111(b) or 111(d) rules related to GHG emissions from modified, reconstructed or existing units (p. 145); 6) postponement of the implementation of the 2015 ozone NAAQS by up to eight years (p. 150); 7) exemption of permitted sources from the 2015 ozone NAAQS under certain circumstances (p. 151); 8) prohibition on EPA using funds on rules or guidelines to address methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector under Sections 111(b) or (d) (p. 151); 9) prohibition on the issuance of regulations calling for Title V permits for emissions from biological processes associated with livestock production (p. 138); 10) prohibition on the issuance of a rule that includes mandatory reporting of GHG emissions from manure management systems (p. 138); and 11) prohibition on EPA’s incorporation of the social cost of carbon into any rulemaking or guidance until a new Interagency Working Group revises the estimates (p. 149).  The report language includes the following statement with respect to the funds for EPA’s operations: “Further, the amount provided does not include funding for EPA’s greenhouse gas rules for stationary sources, including efforts to develop Federal Implementation Plans while the Supreme Court has stayed the regulations. The Committee is concerned that EPA continues to expend funds on related activities despite the Supreme Court ordered stay on the regulations. These funds would be better used to address the backlog of State Implementation Plans that EPA has yet to approve. As such, within the funds provided, the Committee includes $3,000,000 to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of both preconstruction and operating permitting programs.”  During the mark-up, the committee considered various amendments, including one offered by the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Ranking Member Betty McCollum (D-MN) to strip the bill of several provisions related to EPA’s budget, including prohibitions on the use of funds for greenhouse gas-related activities.  The amendment failed, so the provisions remain in the bill. The draft committee report has important information on the following pages: EPA budget, page 54; STAG, page 68; DERA, page 70; Targeted Airshed Grants, page 71; EPA tables, page 160; STAG tables, page 165.  The draft bill is also available.