Environmental Protection Agency: Appropriations for FY2005

The President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2005 ( P.L. 108-447 , H.R. 4818 ) on December 8, 2004. The law provides funding for numerous federal agencies, including $8.09 billion for EPA, subject to an across-the-board rescission of 0.8%. The final appropriation is more than the Administration's request of $7.79 billion, but is less than the FY2004 appropriation of $8.37 billion. The adequacy of funding for scientific research, the cleanup of hazardous waste sites under the Superfund program, and water infrastructure were prominent issues in the FY2005 appropriations debate. Funding for numerous other activities also received attention, such as grants for environmental education, clean school buses, and redevelopment of brownfields, as well as funding for EPA enforcement of environmental laws. Amounts indicated below for specific activities are line-items in the act and the accompanying conference report on H.R. 4818 ( H.Rept. 108-792 ), and do not reflect the across-the-board rescission. The act provides $750 million (prior to transfers from the Superfund account) for EPA's scientific research activities, more than the Administration's request of $689 million but less than the FY2004 appropriation of $782 million. Some scientists had opposed a decrease in funding for scientific research, arguing that critical areas of knowledge needed for public policy decisions on controlling pollution would be compromised. The Administration had countered that its requested decrease was due to cost savings from consolidating and realigning certain research areas, and that it would maintain research in key areas needed for the development of pollution control regulations. The act provides $1.26 billion for the cleanup of hazardous waste sites under the Superfund program (prior to transfers to the Science and Technology and Office of Inspector General accounts). The appropriation is the same as in FY2004, but is less than the Administration's request of $1.38 billion. The level of funding needed to ensure an adequate pace of cleanup, and the source of such funding, were key issues. The taxing authority for the Superfund Trust Fund expired at the end of 1995, and the balance has essentially been expended since then. The act authorizes the use of general Treasury revenues to entirely support the FY2005 funding level, if sufficient funds are not available in the trust fund. The act provides $1.10 billion for the clean water State Revolving Fund (SRF), more than the Administration's request of $850 million, but less than the FY2004 appropriation of $1.34 billion. The law also provides $850 million for the drinking water SRF, the same as the Administration's request and nearly the same as the FY2004 appropriation of $845 million. These SRFs provide seed monies for state loans to communities for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure projects. The amounts for the SRFs have been contentious, as there is disagreement over the adequacy of funding to meet these needs. The law also provides $310 million in earmarked funding for grants to specific communities for drinking water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure projects. As this report discusses final action on FY2005 appropriations for EPA, it will not be updated.