EPA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19

Silencing Science Tracker

EPA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19

On February 12, 2018, the White House Office of Management and Budget released the Trump administration’s proposal for the budget of the U.S. government for fiscal year (FY) 2019. The budget proposes to reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by $2.8 billion or 33.7% (compared to FY2017 levels). When amounts allocated under the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act are included, EPA funding would decline by $2.1 billion (compared to FY2017).

To achieve the reductions, the Trump administration proposes to eliminate a number of programs related to energy and climate change, which it says they aren’t essential to EPA’s core mission. According to the budget, funding will be eliminated for:

“lower priority programs, programs that have duplicative functions with other agencies, activities that can be absorbed into other functions, and responsibilities that should be primarily for State and local governments. Examples of program eliminations include: the Climate Change Research and Partnership Programs; the Indoor Air and Radon Programs; the Marine Pollution and National Estuary Programs; the Environmental Education Program; and the Beaches Program.”

Other programs, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Chesapeake Bay Program, would see large cuts (of up to 90%).

The Clean Air and Global Climate Change account, which is expected to receive $245 million in FY2018, would be abolished and the balance allocated to two new accounts described as “Core Mission” and “Rule of Law and Process.”

Update: Following release of the Trump administration’s budget, EPA published a “Fiscal Year 2019 Justification of Appropriation Estimates for the Committee on Appropriations,” which provides a detailed breakdown of changes to its programs. The breakdown reveals that funding for EPA’s science and technology programs, which includes research and development, would be cut by over $260 million. This includes a $30.8 million cut in funding for research on clean air. Funding for climate change research would be eliminated.

On September 28, 2018, President Trump signed H.R. 6157 (Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Bill, 2019) into law. Division C of H.R. 6157 provides continuing appropriations for EPA and certain other federal agencies through December 7, 2018. Most EPA projects and activities are funded at FY2018 levels.

On December 8, 2018, funding for EPA and certain other federal agencies lapsed, leading to a partial federal shutdown government. After 35 days, on January 25, 2019, President Trump signed H.J. Res. 28 into law. The resolutiion provides continuing appropriations for various federal agencies through February 15, 2019.

On February 15, 2019, President Trump signed H.J. Res. (known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019”) into law. The Act funds EPA and certain other federal agencies through FY2019. Funding for EPA is maintained at FY2018 levels, with Congress rejecting the Trump administration’s proposal to cut the agency’s budget by 33.7%.

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