The Environmental Protection Agency would get $11.34 billion, the most ever in its history, for fiscal year 2022 under a bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee Thursday.
The bill, which provides an increase of more than 20% for EPA, includes substantial hikes for environmental justice and for the agency’s geographic programs, which fund water cleanup initiatives for resources such as the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay. In an accompanying report, the committee urges EPA to expedite its work on methods to measure air emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations.
“I’m proud that this bill makes long-overdue investments to care for our planet, fight the climate emergency, and meet our trust obligations to tribal nations,” said Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, the chairwoman of the panel's Interior and Environment subcommittee.
“The bill prioritizes the protection and preservation of our landscapes and biodiversity, providing $15.6 billion for the Department of the Interior,” she said. “It supports the administration’s initiatives on climate change, such as the Civilian Climate Corps, and affirms the role of science as the foundation for decision making.”
The geographic programs, which also include the San Francisco Bay, Long Island Sound and Puget Sound, would get $642.7 million, about $100 million more than fiscal 2021. Environmental justice programs would see a substantial increase, from $13 million to $248 million. That total includes $100 million for six new environmental justice grant programs “designed to begin implementing environmental justice solutions on the ground in frontline and fenceline communities,” according to a bill summary from the committee.
Also in the bill, the Interior Department’s $15.6 billion total includes increases for funding of endangered species programs in the Fish and Wildlife Service, which as an agency would receive $1.9 billion, a $301 million boost from the current year’s budget.
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Republicans offered a series of amendments at the hearing to — among other things — defund the Biden administration’s “America the Beautiful” initiative to protect 30% of the nation’s land and waters by 2030; prohibit spending for federal electric vehicle fleets, and prevent EPA from issuing a rule under the Clean Air Act requiring permits for livestock operations or reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems. All of the amendments, however, failed to secure passage.
The report that accompanies the bill said the committee supports EPA’s “efforts to develop accurate, robust, and accessible models for estimating [air] emissions by livestock type and pollutant and urges the agency to prioritize these efforts so that these methodologies can be finalized as quickly as possible.”
Utah Republican Chris Stewart, however, who offered the amendment to prevent funding to require permits or GHG reporting for livestock facilities, said it is “technically impossible” to measure their emissions.
Pingree, however, said CAA requirements would apply only to between 100 and 110 such operations nationwide. “This is not about small farmers,” she said.
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