EPA Testifies to Congress on Proposed FY21 Budget
(March 4, 2020) – EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler testified before the House Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change last Thursday, Feb. 27th concerning EPA’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Budget.
As reported in February, the White House’s FY21 Budget proposes a 27% cut to EPA and would reduce staffing to the lowest level in 35 years. The hearing was an opportunity for Members of Congress to press the Administrator to justify these reductions to EPA resources.
In his testimony, Administrator Wheeler defended the Administration’s proposed cuts to the Agency, citing cost savings and efficiencies and a focus on EPA’s Strategic Plan. The Committee’s Democratic leadership argued against the cuts, paying particular attention to water infrastructure and to growing challenges including climate change and PFAS. The Administrator was also questioned regarding wet weather clean water enforcement.
The FY21 Budget Request proposes significant reductions to the State Revolving Funds and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program. A bright spot for water infrastructure funding is that the FY21 Budget proposed $61.5 M for the Sewer Overflow Control Grants, a top NACWA priority because this program – funded for the first time in FY20 – will provide grant dollars for local sewer and stormwater projects.