Rep. Calvert Releases FY19 Interior and Environment Funding Bill
Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42) has released the Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. Rep. Calvert serves as the Chairman of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee.
“The Interior Subcommittee has made every effort to balance a host of competing needs and provided the Interior Department, EPA and other agencies under our jurisdiction with the resources necessary to carry out their mission,” said Rep. Calvert. “Our bill funds a number of American priorities like our National Park Service, the Smithsonian, Native American programs, efforts to prevent and combat wildfires, and the development an earthquake early warning system for the West Coast. Once again we provide important funding for EPA programs that clean our environment, but do not increase the size of the federal bureaucracy. I appreciate the input of all of our Subcommittee members.”
Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill Highlights:
(Provided by the House Appropriations Committee)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – The bill funds EPA at $7.958 billion, $100 million below the fiscal year 2018 level. Within this total, EPA’s regulatory programs are reduced by $228 million below the current level.
The bill also targets additional funding to critical EPA air quality and infrastructure programs, including:
- $100 million for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant program and $55 million for the Targeted AirShed Grant program to reduce air pollution in the nation's areas with the highest levels of ozone and PM2.5 ambient air concentrations;
- A total of $2.6 billion for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan fund, which states and localities use for water infrastructure projects;
- An increase of $40 million to accelerate the cleanup of Superfund sites to return them to productive use and spur economic development; and
- A total of $75 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program to leverage federal dollars to provide financing for more than $8 billion in water infrastructure projects.
This bill reflects the Administration’s goal to rein in outdated, unnecessary and potentially harmful regulations at the EPA. For example, it includes a full repeal of the economically damaging “Waters of the United States” regulation.
Wildland Firefighting and Prevention – In total, the bill funds wildland firefighting and prevention programs at $3.9 billion, fully funding the 10-year average for wildland fire suppression costs for both the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service, and providing robust additional funding – $500 million– for Forest Service suppression operations. The legislation also includes $655 million for hazardous fuels management, which is $30 million above the fiscal year 2018 level.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) – The bill includes $21 million for an earthquake early warning system to help save lives during natural disasters.
Native American Programs – The bill increases the Federal commitment to honoring government-to-government treaty and Trust agreements entered into with American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Indian Health Service is funded at $5.9 billion, $370 million above the fiscal year 2018 level. The Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Indian Education are funded at $3.1 billion, $40 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. Proposed cuts are restored and fixed costs are funded. Increases are provided for staffing newly constructed hospitals; urban health clinics; the Indian Health Care Improvement Fund; road maintenance; police officers and courts; schools and colleges; economic development; and forest management. Contract Support Costs continue to be fully funded.
Federal Payments to Local Communities – The bill provides $500 million for “Payments In Lieu of Taxes” (PILT), $35 million above the budget request. PILT provides funds for local governments in 49 states to help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their counties. Without congressional action, many rural communities would face huge budget shortfalls impacting public safety, education, and other local government responsibilities.
National Park Service (NPS) – The legislation includes $3.25 billion for the NPS, an increase of $53 million above the fiscal year 2018 level. Within the total, the bill provides an additional $50 million in funding for park operations. The bill also includes a $175 million increase above fiscal year 2018 levels to address longstanding deferred maintenance needs, including a $40 million increase for maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation projects, and a $135 million increase for deferred maintenance of park service facilities.
U.S. Forest Service – The bill includes $6.1 billion for the Forest Service, of which $3 billion is targeted to wildland fire prevention and suppression. The bill also provides a $19.5 million increase to combat pests, diseases, and invasive species in our Nation’s forests and includes a provision prohibiting the Forest Service or BLM from issuing new closures of public lands to hunting and recreational shooting, except in the case of public safety.
For the text of the draft bill, please visit: