Lake on side of mountain in Romania

CURRENT FUNDING: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Specific areas of concern

Most programs under Science and Technology, which largely funds research at EPA, including the Atmospheric Protection Program, air and energy research, and chemical safety research, would be cut under the House proposal compared to the FY 2018 enacted levels. The Senate bill also explicitly limits the agency’s ability to use funds to reduce workforce and reorganize the agency.

The Senate bill also included language directing EPA, along with the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Interior, to report to Congress about “agency actions to address harassment of employees, including plans to improve monitoring, training and enforcement, and implement policies that prevent retaliation.” The House bill has similar language directing the Department of Interior and EPA to “take the necessary steps to create and maintain harassment-free workplaces.”

Vertical image of air pollution on cloudy day

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EPA spending likely held flat in FY 2019

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have both passed slightly different appropriations numbers for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in fiscal year (FY) 2019, but the agency is still operating under FY 2018 spending levels during the current budgetary impasse between the White House and Congress. The EPA would receive essentially flat funding under the Senate bill, compared to FY 2018 omnibus levels, providing slightly more money than the House proposal and rejecting much deeper cuts in the president’s budget request.

The EPA Science and Technology program would see almost a 10-percent cut if the House numbers became law. While it’s encouraging to see the Senate reject the drastic cuts outlined in the administration request, this level of funding does not keep pace with inflation or the needs of the agency to fulfill its mission.

Capitol building with clouds and reflection

Latest EPA budget numbers (in millions)

  FY 2018 President's FY 2019 Budget Request FY 2019 Spending Bill FY 2019 Spending Bill vs. FY 2018 Omnibus FY 2019 Spending Bill vs. FY 2018 Omnibus (%) 
Overall $34,520.05 $30,533.00 $35,690.00 $1,169.95 3.39%
Office of Science $6,259.90 $5,413.00 $6585.00 $325.10 5.19%
ARPA-E $353.31 $0.00 $366.00 $12.69 3.59%
Biological & Environmental Research (BER) $673.00 $500.00 $705.00 $32.00 4.75%
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) $2,321.78 $696.00 $2,379.00 $57.22 2.46%