News

SRF Appropriations on the House Floor

August 3, 2011
The House Appropriations Committee approved its Interior/Environment Appropriations legislation, which includes dollar allocations for FY2012. Following on April’s FY2011 budget agreement, the Environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Fund programs were again a major target. The whole agency saw a $1.53 billion, or 18 percent cut, from current spending with nearly two-thirds cut from the clean water programs. The bill would fund the Clean Water SRF at $689 million, down from $1.5 billion in FY2011 and $2.1 billion in FY2010. The Drinking Water SRF would be funded at $829 million, down from $965 million in FY2011 and $1.4 billion in FY2010. Total cuts to the SRF programs would be $967 million from FY2011 numbers, bringing the SRFs back to FY2008 levels. Of particular note was language in the Report that accompanied the legislation: “The Committee believes that funding these accounts through regular appropriations is unsustainable, and the Committee encourages the appropriate authorizing committees to examine funding mechanisms for the SRFs that are sustainable in the long-term.” While the figures themselves are disappointing, the Committee’s support for the program and its mission is reassuring, particularly the desire to establish a long-term off-budget funding mechanism, such as the AGC-supported Clean Water Trust Fund. Now that the legislation has been approved by the full Committee, it is currently under consideration by the House at large, where it is expected to eventually pass. However, it faces significant hurdles to becoming law. The bill, in its current form, has drawn a veto threat from the President, based on several provisions in the bill that cut funding for certain EPA regulatory efforts. The President’s Statement of Administration Policy also mentions cuts to the SRF program as a reason he dislikes the bill. When and if the bill clears the House, it is very unlikely to pass the Senate in its current form, and will likely see a great deal of modification before Senate passage. For the present, discussions over the debt ceiling have stymied work on the bill, but once those are resolved, work is expected to continue. For more information, please contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org.
Go to top