Congress is advancing an omnibus spending package for fiscal year 2022 that includes a modest budget increase of 3.4 percent for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which falls short of the larger increase President Joe Biden requested.
The bipartisan spending agreement, which the House approved March 9 and the Senate is expected to pass soon, includes $9.56 billion in FY22 funding for the EPA, an increase of $323 million over 2021. Biden had asked Congress for $11.23 billion for the agency.
The agreement keeps in place certain legacy policy riders from previous funding laws, such as a prohibition on the development by the EPA of new permitting requirements to regulate some livestock emissions under the Clean Air Act.
The additional $323 million provided for the EPA includes:
- $587 million for geographic programs, an increase of $45 million from the FY21 enacted level, to pay for restoring nationally significant bodies of water such as the Great Lakes
- $539 million funding environmental enforcement efforts, grants and compliance monitoring, representing a $13 million hike over FY21’s enacted amount
- $2.77 billion for the agency’s drinking water and clean water state revolving funds that pay for vital infrastructure projects, the same as the FY21 enacted level
- $92 million, a $1 million increase over FY21 to pay for cleanups of brownfields sites, which redevelop land that may be contaminated by a pollutant
- $1.23 billion for cleanups of Superfund sites, where contamination might threaten human health, a hike of $27 million over the FY21 enacted funding
- $83 million more for environmental justice efforts, or $100 million total, compared to the FY21 enacted budget’s funding for such activities
In a statement, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), chair of the House Appropriations Committee interior panel that oversees the EPA’s budget, said the extra funds allocated for the EPA were investments that would help fight the climate crisis.