Congress Budget Deal Protects Water Programs

Congress Budget Deal Protects Water Programs.
By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue The Trump administration’s talk of slashing environmental programs in fiscal year 2018 did not translate into big cuts in a 2017 spending agreement negotiated by Congress.
“The fiscal year 2017 deal seemed to indicate there is good bipartisan support in Congress extending to the full suite of programs that support clean and safe water in the United States.” Water Across the Budget The agreement’s water-related provisions are many.
The agency’s two main water infrastructure loan programs are funded at the same level as in 2016: $US 1.4 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $US 863 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.
Combined with funding from a bill signed in December, the program will be able to loan just over $US 3 billion for large water projects.
Notice does not need to be “immediate.” Jennifer Caddick of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an advocacy group, told Circle of Blue that though there is a long history of bipartisan support in Congress for the Great Lakes, the administration’s pronouncements that the restoration fund should be cancelled in 2018 is a cause of concern.
The agreement provides $US 67 million for construction of federal reservoirs or state-owned water storage projects.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural water loan and grant program is allocated $US 571 million, an increase of $US 48 million.
Certain firefighting foams — class B aqueous film forming foams — that are used for putting out petroleum fires have contaminated drinking water wells on bases and in nearby communities.
Aaron Clark, spokesman for Fitzpatrick, said that the report will be “a positive step towards remediating the contamination in our water supply.” But Fitzpatrick will continue to seek legislation requiring a health study of those affected by contaminated wells.

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