Washington Policy and Regulatory Updates
Our ENS Federal Report provides a summary and the status on select legislative and regulatory actions.
We normally issue a Report when both Chambers are in session
ENS Federal Report
December 16, 2022
The big picture: After months of stalemate, Congress is closing in on finalizing an Omnibus Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill. The $1.7 trillion package funds the government through September 2023. Key programmatic funding levels for the Interior-Environment, Energy-Water, and Homeland Security spending bills are detailed below.
What’s next: Following Senate passage, the House will swiftly follow suit. Upon final passage, expected late Friday, the 117th Congress will come to a close. The 118th Congress will convene January 3, 2023.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The bottom line: USEPA continues to receive strong support from Congress, with a total of $10 billion in funding. This represents a 6% increase from FY 2022 enacted level.
By the numbers: The $10 billion is divided among the Agency’s various programs and community project funding (CPF) recipients. Key allocations include:
$863 million for Clean Water SRF and $609 million for Drinking Water SRF
$802 million for the Office of Science and Technology
$3.28 billion for Environmental Management
$1.28 billion for Hazardous Substance Superfund
What the Bill Highlights: USEPA is directed to take or continue certain actions:
Continue activities to to address PFAS, including undertaking rulemakings, and to provide Congress a spend-plan for its PFAS-related activities.
Issue guidance encouraging use of innovative technologies in water infrastructure projects and clarifying use of SRF assistance.
Go deeper: Details on funding priorities and policy Explanatory Statement
U.S. Geological Survey
The top line: USGS receives continued support from Congress, with a total of $1.49 billion, representing an increase of $102 million above FY2022 levels.
The bottom line: The appropriations bill provides a handful of USGC priorities to guide research, monitoring and studies through the following allocations and directives:
$2.7 million for PFAS/PFOA contamination research in watersheds and aquifers
$114.5 million for Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program
$83 million for Climate Adaption Science and Land Change Science Program
conduct plastics research, including research on microplastics and nanoplastics’s impact on environment
research presence of hazardous algal blooms in waterways
Go deeper: Read the complete funding package Explanatory Statement
U.S. Forest Service
Caldor Fire - USFS
The Top Line: Omnibus commits $4.4 billion dedicated for wildfire management, mitigation and suppression efforts, a $550 million increase over current year spending level.
Why it matters: The numbers tell a story of continued priorities:
$2.67 billion for Wildland Fire Management, including $321 million for Hazardous Fuels reduction efforts
$60 million for the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Fund
$4 million for cooperative research to target wildfire impacts on forested source waters, downstream water quality, and water treatment
$42 million for Urban and Community Forestry
$52.2 million for Vegetation and Watershed Management
See the Details: Read the Explanatory Statement
More Funding: The agreement carries a Disaster Relief Supplemental appropriation:
$885 million for fire suppression and related activities and $925 million for Emergency Watershed Protection Program activities.
What the Bill Highlights: The Forest Service is directed to:
report on the feasibility of using uncontaminated sediment removed from impoundments for beneficial uses on Forest Service lands.
make road washout restorations a priority
engage with State and local partners to increase forest acres improved through vegetation management.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
The top line: Drought Program Funding dominates USBR spending agreement, provides $1.7 billion to support responses to western water supply conditions as the western U.S. faces unrelenting climate pressures.
Why it matters: A robust federal commitment to resilient, innovative and alternative water supply projects, traditional storage and water use efficiency technologies is demonstrated by appropriations priorities.
By the numbers…
$60 million to support water recycling projects
$65 million to support innovation through WaterSMART projects
$38 million for drought planning and responses
$130 million for Emergency Drought Relief Act
$134 million to continue construction of surface water storage projects
Go Deeper: Read the Explanatory Statement on USBR Funding
Federal Emergency Management Administration
The top line: Omnibus provides robust funding of $25.7 billion; an increase of $1.5 billion.
The big picture: Department of Homeland Security funding continues to grow to address climate induced extreme storm events and cybersecurity needs.
By the numbers: Funding is allocated across FEMA disaster response and mitigation programs:
$19.95 billion for Disaster Relief Fund to respond to major disasters
$233 million for pre-disaster mitigation grants to states and local governments
FEMA’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency receives $2.9 billion to support hardening public infrastructure.
Go deeper: Read the Explanatory Statement
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