House GOP Proposes Reckless Cuts to EPA and Safe and Clean Water

Lawmakers must reject deep cuts to vital water programs

Published Jun 27, 2024

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Clean Water

Lawmakers must reject deep cuts to vital water programs

Lawmakers must reject deep cuts to vital water programs

Today the House Interior Subcommittee released its appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2025 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Bill. The proposed spending legislation includes substantial cuts to the EPA and the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds SRFs), the main source of federal funding for our nation’s water and wastewater systems. 

The spending legislation would cut funding for the EPA overall by one-fifth, including a $749 million (17 percent) cut to state and tribal assistance grants. Notably, the House GOP spending bill seeks to cut funding for safe and clean water assistance by 25 percent, from $2.8 billion to $2.1 billion – the lowest levels in more than 15 years (since 2008). It would provide $1.2 billion for the Clean Water SRF and $884 million for the Drinking Water SRF. About half of the funding would be earmarked out to special district projects. Historically, earmarks had been in addition to regular allotments to the SRF programs. 

These massive cuts come at a time when the needs of our nation’s water and wastewater systems are substantial and growing. A recently released needs survey of the nation’s wastewater and stormwater systems found a 73 percent increase in total need since the previous assessment a decade ago. This follows a previous updated survey from last fall of the nation’s drinking water systems that identified a 32 percent increase in total need. Overall, U.S. water and sewer systems need $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years just to comply with existing federal water quality standards. 

In response, Mary Grant, Public Water for All Campaign Director at Food & Water Watch, issued the following statement:

“Once again, House Republicans are proposing reckless cuts that undermine safe and clean water for people across the country. Local communities in every state rely on State Revolving Fund programs to make necessary improvements to keep water and sewer systems safe and reliable. The proposed cuts would leave many with unsafe water and exacerbate the nation’s water affordability crisis, adding more pressure on household water bills at a time when families are already grappling with soaring costs for essential services. The Senate must reject this proposal out of hand and commit to full funding for our critical water programs. Safe water is non-negotiable. Congress must pass the WATER Act (HR 1729, S 938) to safeguard federal water funding from these foolishly political annual appropriations battles.” 

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Press Contact: Peter Hart [email protected]

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