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Welch encourages restoring local EPA funding from Bush cuts

March 19, 2007
Press Release

"I urge you to reject the President's proposal to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency."

Washington, DC -- Rep. Peter Welch has asked Committee on Budget Chairman John Spratt to restore Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funding for important water quality programs in Vermont that were cut by the President's budget.

"I urge you to reject the President's proposal to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency," Welch wrote to Spratt. "It is critical to ensure that these funds are restored in order to meet the needs of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and other related programs."

Vermont relies on this EPA funding to ensure local water quality protection through improvements in wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. The Clean Water SRF provides critical low interest rate loans with flexible terms that allow economically disadvantaged areas to address local water quality needs for the health and safety of the community and the environment.

Welch supported H.R. 720, Reauthorizing Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, which passed the House earlier this month. The bill authorized $14 billion for the Fund over the next four years for water infrastructure programs in local communities.

To see the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' Municipal Pollution Control Projects Planning List for FY07 and the support SRF funds provide to Vermont communities, click here: https://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/fed/financial/docs/prioritylist2007.pdf

The full letter to Chairman Spratt is below and attached:


March 19, 2007

The Honorable John Spratt
Chairman
Committee on the Budget
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Spratt,

As you develop a Fiscal Year 2008 budget resolution, I urge you to reject the President's proposal to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Specifically, I encourage you to provide a funding level for function 300 that is sufficient to allow environmental programs to maintain their current level of services.

While we all recognize that our nation faces a difficult budget situation, I believe it is critical to ensure that these funds are restored in order to meet the needs of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) and other related programs. As you know, the President's 2008 budget once again cut EPA funding, providing $7.2 billion, a $509 million (6.6 percent) cut from the 2007 level. The Clean Water SRF alone will take a cut of $396 million (36.5 percent) from the 2007 level, and a $654 million reduction (48.7 percent) since 2004.

The State of Vermont relies on this financing to ensure local water quality protection through improvements in wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management. The Clean Water SRF provides critical low interest rate loans with flexible terms that allow economically disadvantaged areas to address local water quality needs for the health and safety of the community and the environment.

I look forward to working with you to ensure that we adopt a budget that makes needed investments in important programs such as the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

 

PETER WELCH
United States Congressman