(Washington, D.C.- July 9, 2020) Tomorrow the House Appropriations Committee will vote on its FY 2021 Interior-Environment appropriations proposal, a bill that builds on the strong funding levels enacted for EPA in FY2020 by increasing support for many core agency programs such as science and enforcement, and includes emergency funding for replacing lead water pipes. The bill also blocks taxpayer dollars for being used to attack public health and the environment by directing EPA to continue regulating Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) and by prohibiting use of funds for oil and gas methane pollution rollbacks.
“We commend Chairwoman Lowey, Subcommittee Chair McCollum and House Appropriations Committee members for their strong efforts to protect our communities from toxic pollution and climate change, and ensure all Americans can have access to clean air and clean water. We are pleased to see increased funding for core programs that provide vital science and tools for the EPA to make sound decisions related to preventing, regulating and abating hazardous pollution. With this bill, Congress has once again rejected the Trump administration’s cruel attempts to enact deep cuts to the EPA. The result of this budget will be fewer asthma attacks and more lives saved. We are glad to see that in the middle of a public health crisis, our leaders are rightly focused on protecting our families.
“We are also glad to see this bill provides a needed focus on helping low-income communities and communities of color through additional emergency funding to replace lead water pipes, increased funding for EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice and more funding for enforcement of polluting facilities, which are often located in these communities.
“The Trump EPA’s attacks on MATS, a program which is working to protect our children from poisonous mercury pollution and saves up to 11,000 lives every year, are disgraceful. Methane pollution is a key driver of climate change, and its release from the oil and gas industry is harmful and also unnecessary since mitigation is cost-effective, yet the Trump EPA has proposed to gut these standards as well. We are glad to see Congressional leaders forcefully denounce these rollbacks and stand up for American families by blocking their implementation.”
- Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President, Political Affairs
Key provisions in the FY2021 EPA/Interior Appropriations bill include:
- $3.58 billion for EPA’s core science and environmental program work, an increase of $210 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $822 million above the President’s budget request.
- $4.36 billion for State and Tribal Assistance Grants, an increase of $119 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $1.52 billion above the President’s budget request.
- $575 million for compliance monitoring and enforcement activities, an increase of $46 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $59 million above the President’s request.
- $15 million for the EPA Office of Environmental Justice, an increase of $4.8 million, or 47 percent, above the 2020 enacted level more than five times above the President’s budget request.
- $500 million in emergency funding to replace lead pipes
- $90 million for Diesel Emissions Reduction grants, an increase of $3 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $80 million above the President’s budget request.
- A provision directing EPA to continue regulating EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS), and overturn its decision to remove the “appropriate and necessary” finding. Includes Report Language directing EPA to assess the public health benefits, environment and compliance cost of the existing MATS rule, and compare those benefits to those if MATS were invalidated.
- A provision banning any federal funds from being used to finalize the rollback of EPA’s oil and gas methane pollution standards.
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