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Water: Clean Water Financing

Allotment Formula for Clean Water Act Section 106 Funds; Amendment - Fact Sheet

EPA has announced a regulatory amendment that authorizes the Agency to distribute separately a portion of grant funds devoted to specific water pollution control programs (under section 106 of the Clean Water Act). It provides EPA the flexibility to use different state allocation formulae in order to target specific water pollution control elements, such as water quality monitoring. Those elements will be determined by EPA based on a review of the President’s budget, Congressional conference reports, and/or appropriation acts. The amendment applies only to those portions of Section 106 funds which have been targeted in EPA’s appropriations process for specific water pollution control elements. The remaining Section 106 funds will continue to be allotted in accordance with current allotment formulae used by the Agency.

Background

EPA gives money to states, interstate agencies, and tribes to reduce water pollution. The money pays for programs that protect local water bodies and the communities nearby. These programs are intended to protect the health and safety of local water bodies and the communities they serve.

Currently, monies awarded under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act are allocated through several allotment formulae specific to states, interstate agencies, or American Indian tribes. The Act requires the funds to be allocated “on the basis of the extent of the pollution problem in the respective states.” The formulae have generally worked well, but they have not allowed the Agency to support specific priority areas.

The EPA Administrator is authorized to make allotments for grants from sums appropriated by Congress in each fiscal year “in accordance with regulations promulgated by him on the basis of the extent of the pollution problem in the respective states.” EPA developed and promulgated 40 CFR 35.160-35.168 to establish consistent methodology for allocating funds to the states and eligible interstate agencies.

Prevention and control measures supported by state water quality management programs include: permitting; pollution control activities; surveillance, monitoring, and enforcement; advice and assistance to local agencies; and training and public information.

About This Regulation

EPA is amending 40 CFR 35.162 to provide the Agency with the authority to allot separately those CWA Section 106 funds which are targeted to specific water pollution control elements, as determined by EPA based on a review of the President’s budget, Conference Reports, and/or appropriation acts. It gives EPA the ability to go outside the Section 106 formulae to allocate funds as envisioned by decision makers in the budget process.

The amendment will address a situation like that which occurred in EPA’s FY 2006 CWA Section 106 appropriation process. The President’s FY 2006 budget specifically requested an increase in Section 106 funding for enhanced monitoring activities, particularly for statistically-valid assessments of water quality nationwide and strengthening state and interstate monitoring programs. The 2006 Conference Report, which accompanied EPA’s 2006 appropriation act, indicated that a total of $18.5 million should be targeted to support enhanced monitoring efforts. EPA determined that if this amount were included in the general state and interstate allotment formulae, only a small number of states and interstates would actually receive an increase for this purpose, while the majority of states would not receive a sufficient increase to strengthen their water quality monitoring activities through implementation of their monitoring strategies. As a result, EPA is amending 40 CFR 35.162 to address similar concerns. The amendment assures that all state and interstate agencies will receive funding increases to strengthen their water quality activities.

How to Get Additional Information

For further information, visit the Water Pollution Control Program Grants Page at http://www.epa.gov/owm/cwfinance/pollutioncontrol.htm. You may also contact Robyn Delehanty (delehanty.robyn@epa.gov), with the Office of Wastewater Management, at (202) 564-3880.

 


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