Federal Funding Cuts for Water Programs

At the end of June, the House Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal year 2013 spending bill with significant cuts for water infrastructure and water quality programs. Overall spending for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, and 20 related agencies is 6 percent lower than President Obama had requested and 4 percent below the fiscal year 2012 budget. The EPA takes the brunt of the cuts, seeing its funding cut by 17 percent compared to fiscal year 2012. The biggest hit will be the state revolving funds, which provide low-interest loans for drinking water and wastewater projects. These two funds will be cut by $865 million, or 36 percent, compared to last year’s budget.