U.S. EPA FY2020 Appropriations

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Updated November 6, 2020
U.S. EPA FY2020 Appropriations
Enacted December 20, 2019, Division D of P.L. 116-94, the
Rescission of Unobligated Balances
Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, provided
The President’s FY2020 request proposed a $377.0 million
funding for the Department of the Interior, Environment,
“cancellation of funds” (rescission of unobligated
and Related Agencies, including a total of $9.06 billion for
balances). For FY2019, Title II of Division E in P.L. 116-6
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Title
rescinded $210.5 million in unobligated balances. P.L. 116-
II. Title IX of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
94 did not rescind any funds from EPA accounts for
Implementation Act (P.L. 116-113), enacted January 29,
FY2020. In the Explanatory Statement accompanying P.L.
2020, provided an additional $304.0 million for EPA in
116-94, the Appropriations Committees provide a
supplemental appropriations. Title VII in Division B of the
discussion of this change in Division D Title II under the
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES)
heading Budget Rebaselining (Congressional Record, vol.
Act (P.L. 116-136) provided $7.23 million in supplemental
165, no. 204—Book III [December 17, 2019], p. H11291).
funding in 4 of EPA’s 10 appropriations accounts.
The committees noted that their consideration of the
FY2020 appropriations for EPA’s program activities
EPA’s FY2020 total $9.37 billion enacted appropriations,
accounted for funding amounts reported in EPA’s operating
which did not include rescissions of unobligated balances as
plan for FY2019 that reflect rescissions. Additional
in prior fiscal years, was $3.15 billion (50.6%) more than
information on these EPA rescissions can be found in
the President’s FY2020 budget request of $6.22 billion and
H.Rept. 116-100 accompanying H.R. 3052 and S.Rept.
$106.6 million (1.2%) more than the total $9.26 billion
116-123 accompanying S. 2580.
FY2019 enacted appropriations. The FY2019 enacted total
included $8.85 billion in Titles II and IV of Division E in
EPA Appropriations Accounts
P.L. 116-6, enacted February 15, 2019, and $414.0 million
More than a dozen federal laws authorize EPA operations.
in emergency supplemental appropriations in P.L. 116-20,
Funding is annually appropriated to EPA among 10
enacted June 6, 2019, for EPA’s response to Hurricanes
accounts established by Congress over time: State and
Florence and Michael, calendar year 2018 earthquakes, and
Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG), Environmental Programs
Typhoon Yutu. Figure 1 presents trends in requested and
and Management (EPM), Hazardous Substance Superfund
enacted EPA appropriations from FY2008 through FY2020.
(“Superfund”), Science and Technology (S&T), Leaking
Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Trust Fund Program,
Figure 1. EPA Appropriations: Requested and Enacted
Buildings and Facilities, Office of Inspector General, Inland
FY2008-FY2020 (Not Adjusted for Inflation)
Oil Spill Program, Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest
System Fund, and Water Infrastructure Finance and
Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program. As indicated in Figure
the proportional distribution of funding among the EPA
appropriations accounts has remained similar for more than
a decade with the exception of FY2009.
Figure 2. EPA Appropriations by Account: FY2008-
FY2020 Enacted (Not Adjusted for Inflation)

Source: CRS using information from the Congressional Record; House,
Senate, and conference reports; and EPA’s FY2020 Congressional
Budget Justification
. Enacted amounts reflect relevant rescissions and
supplemental appropriations, including $7.22 bil ion for EPA in the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5).
Prior to the enactment of P.L. 116-94, Congress considered
multiple bills that included funding for EPA. At the
beginning of FY2020, EPA and other federal departments

and agencies operated under two continuing resolutions,
Source: CRS using information from the Congressional Record; House,
generally at FY2019 levels.
Senate, and conference committee reports; and EPA’s FY2020
Congressional Budget Justification. Enacted amounts include
supplemental appropriations—including $7.22 bil ion for EPA in the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5).

U.S. EPA FY2020 Appropriations
Historically, the STAG and EPM accounts have received
P.L. 116-94 appropriated another $60.0 million within the
the largest share of funding, followed by the Superfund and
WIFIA account for FY2020 for credit assistance and related
S&T accounts. The STAG account funds grants for water
administrative expenses, compared to a combined total of
infrastructure, brownfields site assessment and remediation,
$68.0 million for the WIFIA account in Titles II and IV of
diesel emissions reduction, targeted airsheds, and
Division E in P.L. 116-6 for FY2019 and $25.0 million
“categorical” grants to states and tribes for implementing
requested for FY2020.
federal pollution control programs. The EPM account funds
additional grants and many cross-cutting agency activities.
P.L. 116-94 also continued funding in FY2020 for certain
The Superfund account supports the environmental
geographic programs, including $320.0 million for the
remediation of priority sites designated for federal attention.
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and $190.3
The S&T account funds scientific research to inform
million for other geographic programs, including the
agency regulatory decisions. P.L. 116-94 funds each
National Estuary Program, the Chesapeake Bay Program,
account similar to the FY2019 enacted level or greater with
and other programs to restore specific water bodies. The
the exception of the STAG account when accounting for
President’s FY2020 request included $300.0 million for the
additional funding Congress provided for FY2019 in Title
GLRI, the same as enacted for FY2019, but proposed to
IV of P.L. 116-6. Congress did not approve the President’s
eliminate the other geographic programs.
proposed eliminations of certain programs and activities.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
Assistance to States
Congress appropriates funds to EPA to support the agency’s
Legislation has been enacted and other bills considered in
primary responsibilities under multiple federal
the 116th Congress to address potential risks associated with
environmental pollution control statutes in coordination
per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). FY2020
with states and tribes. EPA awards categorical grants to
enacted appropriations in P.L. 116-93 and P.L. 116-94
states and tribes (and local governments under certain
included funding and directives across several departments
statutes) with delegated authority to implement and enforce
and agencies to initiate or continue various actions to
federal pollution control requirements. These categorical
address potential risks. The Explanatory Statement
grants generally focus on specific environmental media,
accompanying P.L. 116-94 allocated appropriations and
wastes, or pollution sources. The adequacy of funding for
provided guidance and direction for EPA to address PFAS
these grants has been a perennial issue. The President’s
within the S&T, EPM, Superfund, and STAG
request had proposed $580.3 million for FY2020. Congress
appropriations accounts.
appropriated $1.08 billion for FY2020 for categorical
grants, similar to the FY2019 enacted level.
Agency Staffing
Although Congress does not set specific staffing levels for
The FY2020 request also proposed to reduce funding to
EPA in annual appropriations acts, the size and structure of
states from the LUST Trust Fund account by nearly half to
the agency’s workforce was a topic of debate for FY2020 as
$47.8 million for FY2020, compared to the $93.4 million
it was for FY2019 and FY2018. As with the FY2019
enacted for FY2019 (including $1.5 million in supplemental
enacted appropriations, Title II of Division D in P.L. 116-
funding provided in P.L. 116-20). P.L. 116-94 appropriated
94 did not fund the President’s FY2020 request for EPA
$91.9 million for the LUST account for FY2020, the same
“workforce reshaping.”
as FY2019 without the supplemental.
Fee Authorization
Title II of Division D in P.L. 116-94 appropriated $1.64
P.L. 116-94 reauthorized the collection and use of
billion for Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)
registration and service fees under the Federal Insecticide,
capitalization grants and $1.13 billion for Drinking Water
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act through the end of FY2020
State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) capitalization grants for
(“Administrative Provisions” in Division D, Title II).
FY2020 within the STAG account. The FY2019 enacted
Within the EPM account, P.L. 116-94 appropriated $5.0
total of $1.74 billion for the CWSRF and $1.46 billion for
million from fees authorized by the Toxic Substances
the DWSRF included $1.39 billion for the CWSRF and
Control Act for chemical risk reviews.
$864.0 million for the DWSRF in Division E, Title II, of
P.L. 116-6 and an additional $300.0 million each for
Regulatory Prohibitions and Limitations
making capitalization grants for the CWSRF and the
Several EPA regulatory actions received attention, as in
DWSRF in Title IV. Subsequently, P.L. 116-20 provided an
past fiscal year debates. General Provisions in Division D,
additional $53.3 million for the CWSRF and $296.1 million
Title IV, of P.L. 116-94 prohibited the use of FY2020
for the DWSRF in supplemental funding for FY2019 for
appropriations for certain actions: permitting of air
areas impacted by disaster events. The President’s FY2020
emissions from livestock production (§437), reporting of
request proposed $1.12 billion for CWSRF grants and
greenhouse gas emissions from manure management
$863.2 million for DWSRF grants.
systems (§438), regulating lead content of ammunition or
fishing tackle (§439), and regulating air emissions from
Also within the STAG account, P.L. 116-94 appropriated a
small remote solid waste incinerators in Alaska (§441). To
combined total of $118.9 million for FY2020 for grant
date, EPA has not pursued rulemaking in some of these
programs authorized by the Water Infrastructure
areas (e.g., lead content of ammunition or fishing tackle).
Improvements for the Nation Act (P.L. 114-322) and
America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-270).
Robert Esworthy, Specialist in Environmental Policy

U.S. EPA FY2020 Appropriations


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