On Dec. 20, negotiators in the U.S. Congress released its final fiscal year 2023 (FY23) Omnibus Appropriations package that will fund the federal government through the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2023.
The bill — the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 — is expected to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate prior to Friday, Dec. 23, when the current Continuing Resolution expires. President Biden likely will sign it into law. This bill totals $1.7 trillion in discretionary resources.
U.S. EPA Funding
Overall, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will receive $10.1 billion, which is a $576 million increase above FY22.
Below are the key details of what is in the Omnibus bill for water infrastructure funding and policies.
- The Clean Water State Revolving Fund will receive $1.639 billion, of which $863,000 is set aside for Community Project Funding. (This is in addition to the $2.2 billion for FY22 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This means a total of nearly $3 billion for Clean Water SRF in FY23.)
- The Drinking Water SRF will receive $1.126 billion, of which $609,000 is set aside for Community Project Funding. (This is in addition to the $2.2 billion for FY22 from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This means $2.7 billion for Drinking Water SRF in FY22.)
- The EPA Sewer Overflow & Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program (OSG) will receive $50 million, a $7 million increase above FY22.
- The WIFIA program will receive $68 million, a $5 million increase above FY22.
- Water Workforce Grants will receive $6 million, a $2 million increase above FY22.
- Small & Disadvantaged Communities Grants will receive $30 million, a $3 million increase above FY22.
- Stormwater Centers of Excellence Grants will receive $3 million in initial funding.
- Enhanced Aquifer Use & Recharge Grants will receive $ million in initial funding.
- Technical Assistance for Wastewater Treatment Works will receive $27 million, a $7 million increase above FY22.
- Drinking Water Infrastructure Resilience & Sustainability Grants will receive $7 million, a $2 million increase above FY22.
- $3 million in initial funding for an EPA needs assessment for a nationwide program rural and urban low-income community water assistance program.
Unfortunately, many of the recently created new grant programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law did not receive initial funding in the FY23 Omnibus package.
This means it continues to be critical for WEF and water professionals across the nation to push Congress to include funding in the FY24 appropriations bills.
The National Water Policy Fly-In co-hosted by WEF, NACWA (Washington, D.C.), the WateReuse Association (Alexandria, Virginia), and the Water Research Foundation (Denver) will be held April 25 and 26, 2023, in Washington, D.C. All WEF members are invited to participate. Registration details will be announced in mid-January on WaterWeek.us.