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Despite FY20 Infrastructure Cuts, Wheeler Calls Drinking Water Top Priority

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says he will make drinking water improvements a top priority for the agency, including infrastructure upgrades and measures to boost the quality of water supplies, even as he is seeking to cut funding for many EPA infrastructure programs and is downplaying climate change as a water supply threat.

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EPA FY20 Budget Increases States’ Duties While Cutting Assistance Funds

EPA’s just-released justification to Congress for its fiscal year 2020 budget details an aggressive plan for shifting significant environmental oversight to states either through delegated authority or slashing programs that complement states’ work, but it also seeks deep cuts to funds that could help states pay for the increased workload.

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EPA Regional Reorganization Spurs Staff ‘Chaos,’ Enforcement Concerns

EPA is pushing ahead with a major reorganization of its regional offices that includes reassigning long-running enforcement directors and changing some staffers’ duties, changes that an agency source fears will cause “chaos” and further weaken already declining enforcement despite EPA’s vow to minimize adverse impacts on staff.

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IG Warns FY20 Budget Cut Will Force ‘Difficult Decisions’ On New Reviews

EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is warning that President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut its funding from roughly $41.5 million down to $38.9 million in fiscal year 2020 will require the OIG to make “difficult decisions” in accepting new requests for discretionary inquiries, such as those sought by lawmakers, and completing ongoing studies.

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Defying Trump, Senators Eye Bipartisan Hike For EPA Diesel Retrofit Fund

A bipartisan group of senators is backing legislation that would reauthorize and boost EPA’s popular diesel engine retrofit fund to $100 million, with several GOP supporters of the bill defying President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 proposal to slash the fund from its FY19 level of $75 million down to $10 million.

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Trump Eyes EPA FY20 Infrastructure Cuts But Open To Deal With Congress

President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget proposal floats a cut of more than $700 million to the agency’s water infrastructure grant and loan programs, but the White House is signaling openness to making a deal with lawmakers on potential funding hikes if they are able to craft a broad infrastructure package that can clear Congress.

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Trump’s FY20 Plan Would Slash EPA’s Budget By 25 Percent, Cut State Grants

President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request would slash $2 billion, or 25 percent, from EPA’s current $8.1 billion appropriation, leaving the agency with $6.1 billion, terminating a host of voluntary and “lower-priority” programs and cutting funding for states even as the agency aims to give them more responsibility under its “cooperative federalism” agenda.

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OIG says EPA officials destroyed notes on budget software security

The Office of Inspector General says personnel at EPA’s finance office destroyed their notes on a security review of the agency’s budgeting software, frustrating an ongoing audit of that program.

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House Democrats Eye Water Subsidies But GOP Fears EPA Rate-Setting Role

Key House Democrats are exploring the possibility of creating an EPA program for low-income households to help them pay for water and sewer services, a plan that previously has won bipartisan support in the Senate though House Republicans are questioning whether the plan would give the agency a role in setting local rates.

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DOE Cleanups Face Stepped-Up Hill Scrutiny In Wake Of GAO Findings

The Energy Department's (DOE) nuclear waste cleanup program -- which at nearly $400 billion holds the federal government's single largest environmental liability -- is facing stepped-up scrutiny from Capitol Hill after a series of reports from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) raised concerns about how the department runs the program.

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