White House and Congressional Leaders Reach Deal on FY 2020 & 2021 Budget

On August 2, President Trump signed into law a two-year federal budget deal totaling $2.7 trillion. Background The White House and congressional leaders announced on July 22 that a comprehensive deal had been worked out on the top line spending numbers for the U.S. discretionary budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. Pressure had been…

US House Appropriations Process Underway

U.S. House Appropriators continue to make progress on their twelve appropriations bills even without a congressional budget deal for FY 2020. Department of Interior and Environment The House Appropriations Committee has reported to the House the FY 2020 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The bill includes: A total $37.28 billion, an increase of $1.73 billion…

Congressional Budget Deal For FY 2020 Will Require Compromise

When Congress reconvenes after the Easter recess on April 29, job #1 will be to reach a deal on the top-dollar amount of federal discretionary spending for the federal government for FY 2020 beginning on October 1.  Discretionary spending is the portion of the federal budget totaling just over $1 trillion that Congress controls each…

Analysis of EPA Waters of the U.S. Pre-Publication Proposal

On December 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler and R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, signed a “pre-publication” of a proposed rule on Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). EPA will submit it to the Federal Register for publication. Publication will likely occur in a few weeks.…

WRDA Signed Into Law

WRDA Signed Into Law, Now on Two-Year Reauthorization Cycle

Recently, President Obama signed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorizing EPA, (Environmental Protection Agency) to provide assistance for a wide variety of projects including $170 million in aid to Flint, Michigan to help repair its drinking water system.

In a bill-signing ceremony at the White House, The President explained how WRDA will “put Americans to work modernizing our water infrastructure and restoring some of our most vital ecosystems.…

Highlights of WIFIA

EPA LogoWater Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) projects will be evaluated individually by the Administrator of EPA based on criteria in the rule and a previously issued Notice of Funds Available (NOFA).  Once a project is selected for a loan individual credit agreements will be developed in negotiations between Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the project sponsor.…

EPA Begins New Water Financing Program

On Monday, December 19, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an interim final rule on credit assistance for water infrastructure projects that will become immediately effective.  The rule allows EPA to begin implementing the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.

National Need = $660 Billion

In the rule, the EPA estimates the national funding need for capital improvements for such facilities totals approximately $660 billion over the next 20 years.  The vast majority of that need, 90% or $591 billion, is for repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of existing infrastructure.

CRomnibus Spending Plan P3

The CRomnibus, HR 83, cuts the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by $60 million below the fiscal year 2014 level, providing a total of $8.1 billion for the agency. Environmental Protection Agency Overall, EPA funding has been reduced by $2.2 billion – or 21% – since 2010.  The bill continues reductions to EPA staff, bringing staffing…

EPA Seeks Stakeholder Input

EPA RFS Hearing 12-5-13

EPA Seeks Stakeholder Input on Authorities Under RFS and Biofuel Marketing

On December 5 officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) heard from about 140 witnesses consisting of individual consumers, oil companies, convenience store operators, livestock and crop producers during a hearing on their proposal to reduce the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).…

U.S. Court of Appeals Rules: EPA Exceeded Mandate

U.S. Court of Appeals Rules: EPA Exceeded Mandate Limiting Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide Emissions From Power-generating Plants

On August 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled, 2-1, that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had exceeded its mandate with the Clean Air Act, which was to limit sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power plants in 28 mostly Eastern states and Texas.

EPA’s rule intended to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 73% and nitrogen oxide by 54% at coal-fired power plants below 2005 levels. It is believed that reducing emissions from these plants will further reduce pollutants that cause acid rain and smog that cross state lines. A factor that it didn’t take into account was the financial hardship the rule would create for energy producers and their customers, possibly closing down energy facilities.

The judges ruled that the EPA exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act by……