President Obama’s proposed fiscal 2017 budget reduces funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) while increasing funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. NSSGA has supported full funding for the EPA’s SRF for a long time. The EPA’s SRF provides loans to improve state and local water quality and the President’s budget would reduce these funds by US$400 million. Additionally, the SRF is the primary source of federal funding for water infrastructure improvements to water treatment facilities, storm water infrastructure and other projects that make water sources cleaner overall. The budget proposal would add US$158 million for the Drinking Water SRF, which helps cities repair and replace old and crumbling water infrastructure.
The President’s budget is historically only a blueprint that explains how he would set priorities if he controlled government money, which he does not. Yet, the move prompted Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., to criticise President Obama for prioritising climate change over safe drinking water in the budget. Mae Wu of the Natural Resources Defence Council was also unsupportive of the budget. “Cutting funds that help keep pollution out of our water and moving the money to remove pollution once it’s already in our drinking water is no solution at all,” she said. “At best it is a short-term Band-Aid approach to addressing the chronic levels of underinvestment in our water infrastructure by local, state, and federal governments.”
Adapted from press release by Rebecca Bowden
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/22022016/further-criticism-for-obamas-proposed-budget-545/