House Advances Appropriations Package with Clean Water Funding, Including for Integrated Planning
Just prior to the start of August recess, the House passed its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill, which provides annual funding for U.S. EPA and its core clean water programs, through an omnibus package, H.R. 4502.
As reported by NACWA when the House Appropriations Committee passed the Interior and Environment bill in early July, the bill provides modest increases for clean water programs, including $428.6 million in Community Project Funding (earmarks) for clean water and drinking water infrastructure projects.
Additionally, prior to the omnibus package coming to the full House for a vote, NACWA worked closely with Reps. Napolitano (D-CA) and Gibbs (R-OH) on a bipartisan amendment that would directly provide $2 million to EPA to be used for the Agency’s Integrated Planning (IP) activities. The goal of these funds is to help ensure this important tool is able to be utilized widely and consistently by local communities to more affordably make needed clean water capital investments and meet compliance obligations.
NACWA further worked closely with Reps. Napolitano and Gibbs to secure agreement by the House Rules Committee to allow consideration of the amendment, as well as with the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and key municipal groups to ultimately secure passage of this amendment on the House floor.
Over the past two appropriations cycles, NACWA has successfully worked to secure final report language supporting funding for EPA’s ongoing activities related to IP, but this amendment marks the first time that direct funding would be provided to enhance and expand the Agency’s IP efforts.
The Senate has yet to release any of its appropriations bills and is not expected to do so until September. NACWA is currently working with the upper chamber to ensure the highest level of funding for clean water is included in the Senate’s FY22 Interior and Environment bill, as well as secure direct funding for IP that mirrors the $2 million appropriations that was amended into the House bill. We encourage all members to do the same.
At this point is it very likely that Congress will pass a continuing resolution (CR) to temporarily fund the federal government at current levels to start the fiscal year on October 1st through some time into the Fall until they come to a bicameral agreement on a final FY22 appropriations package.