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EPA Appropriations Bill Passed With Significant Water Funding Increase for SRF Programs

November 4, 2009
  On October 29, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate approved the conference report providing appropriations for the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior and other agencies. The Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010, passed on a party line vote (247-178) and included significant increases for EPA programs including a $2 billion increase over FY09 SRF programs.  The bill provides $3.6 billion federal assistance for communities’ water infrastructure programs including $1.38 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund and $2.1 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which will be allocated to states under existing distribution formulas. In addition, $157 million was earmarked for specific municipal projects. Additional notable project funding includes $17 million for architectural, engineering, planning, design, construction and related activities in connection with the construction of high priority water and wastewater facilities in the area of the United States-Mexico Border, and approximately $157 million for project grants for the construction of drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure along the border. Similar to the Recovery Act, this bill requires that 30% of funds be distributed in the forms of grants, loan principal forgiveness or negative interest loans for communities with the greatest needs. Additionally, 20% of the funds must be used by the states for projects to address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or other environmentally innovative activities. Other program changes in the bill include the addition of Davis-Bacon prevailing wagers under a compromise agreement that will apply these wages for a period of one year. The bill does not include Recovery Act “Buy American” requirements. Other significant programs receiving funding in the bill include:
  • $475 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
  • $605 million for Superfund activities
  • $113 million to inspect and clean up toxic spills from underground storage tanks
  • $100 million for evaluation and cleanup of Brownfields
  • $385 million for Climate Change Programs
  • $556 million for Forest Service construction, capital improvement, maintenance
  • $395 million for Indian  Health Facilities Construction
  • $125 million for Smithsonian Institution Construction
To view a complete copy of the conference report including earmarked projects in individual states, click here. For additional information, contact Perry L. Fowler at fowlerp@agc.org or (703)837-5321.
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