DEQ Comments on EPA Funding Freeze
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
DEQ Statement on EPA funding:
DEQ learned today of a freeze on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant and contract funding. This is a new situation that we are monitoring and we are working with other states to find out more information on impacts.
We rely on funding from EPA to implement federal clean air, clean water and safe drinking water laws. Roughly one-third of DEQ’s annual budget comes from federal grants and funding. EPA is the single largest federal contributor, followed by the Department of Interior and then the Department of Energy.
One of our major core grants is the EPA Performance Partnership Grant. Last year we were awarded roughly $7 million for the current state fiscal year. To date we have received about $2 million of this grant and have been awaiting the remaining approximately $5 million since the federal Continuing Resolution in early December of 2016. This grant funds programs associated with Clean Water and Clean Air Act regulation, safe drinking water protection, and hazardous waste oversight. We are unsure when/if we will receive the rest of this grant and are assessing immediate impacts.
Once we assess immediate impacts, we will look at what future impacts might be.
DEQ has a regular cycle of applying for other EPA funding (mostly in the form of grants) to operate programs for federal Superfund, wastewater and drinking water state revolving fund loans, underground storage tanks, and non-point-source related work. We are unsure of the immediate or long-term impact to these funding sources.
Director Livers did receive an email last night from EPA Region 8 Acting Administrator Deb Thomas that stated EPA is continuing to award the environmental program grants and state revolving loan fund grants to the states and tribes. It further said EPA is working to quickly address issues related to other categories of grants. The goal is to complete the grants and contracts review by the close of business on Friday, January 27.