EPA Budget in House Crosshairs But DERA Program Expands

The National School Transportation Association said the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program, or DERA, is earmarked to receive a 20 percent increase in funding, this despite an overall reduction in funding to the U.S. EPA.

The House Appropriations Committee released it Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill on Monday, and DERA was tapped to receive $60 million in funding, $10 million than was appropriated a year ago. NSTA pointed out that the bill contains $30 million more for "targeted airshed grants" in high priority areas.

“This is not technically DERA funding, but the program supports many of the same activities as DERA,” reads an NSTA statement on Wednesday. “The bill will be taken up this week in the House and Senate and is expected to pass and be enacted into law by the end of the week in order to avoid a government shutdown.”

NSTA also said a bipartisan group of House Members lead by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) are preparing to introduce legislation to reauthorize DERA through 2021. NSTA added that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is also working on a version of the reauthorization.

Meanwhile, the FY2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill reduces the EPA budget by $81.4 million from last year to $8.06 billion, and $209 million below President Obama’s 2016 budget request, “to stop the EPA’s anti-growth agenda,” a statement from the House committee said.

The budget also reduces funding for EPA research and regulatory programs by $52 million below the current level and over $300 million below the previous administration’s request.

The budget does provide for an additional $7.5 million for cleanup of the nation’s Superfund sites, or worse hazardous waste dumping areas.

Last modified onWednesday, 03 May 2017 09:46