House Passes Large Increases in Federal Environmental Spending

(July 3, 2019) - The US House of Representatives passed a Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) spending package on June 25, which includes significant increases for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies. The bill (H.R. 3055) would provide $9.5 billion to EPA in FY20, a roughly $1.5 billion increase over current (FY19) spending. This spending would be the second-highest EPA budget in history.

The budget includes important funding wins for the public clean water sector as previously reported in the Current, including increases for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF), new funding for Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Grants, new funding to jumpstart the Water Utility Workforce Grants program, and more.

While the House bill is an important step in the FY20 funding, the Senate has not yet determined its total FY20 spending level, which will dictate how much funding the Senate will have to apportion among its various FY20 bills and priorities. Senate Appropriations leaders have been unable to complete their bills before the July Fourth holiday recess, while top leadership decides how to proceed.

The Senate spending levels are anticipated to be significantly lower than the House levels, but NACWA believes clean water funding will fare relatively well. Ultimately the House and Senate bills will be negotiated into a final bill that can be signed into law, and clean water priorities appear well-positioned for inclusion in a final appropriations package.

The Association will stay engaged with Appropriators as work proceeds. Contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic, NACWA’s Legislative Directors, to discuss further.