Dear Chair DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger:
As the Committee prepares to mark up the Fiscal Year 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges you to consider the following funding and policy priorities.
The Chamber encourages the Committee to support full funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Civil Works Program authorized in Water Resources and Development Act of 2020, including all projects in the 46 Chief of Engineers reports, as well as full funding for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds. We support the technology innovation grant program authorized in America’s Water Infrastructure Act and expanding the WIFIA credit subsidy by $12.6 million – to assist in mobilizing private capital for these important projects.
We believe that Congress should provide the oversight to assure a coordinated and timely government response and appropriate the funding necessary to support sound scientific research and the management, mitigation, ongoing monitoring, and treatment of specific per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Accordingly, the Chamber supports the $75 million in additional funding for scientific and regulatory work for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist state and local communities to address the contamination and remediation of PFAS. In addition, we oppose the inclusion of any legislative language or amendments that would regulate PFAS as a class or otherwise circumvent existing regulatory authorities.
The Chamber urges you to fully fund implementation of the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons, and technology innovation to drive greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and $10 million for Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling (SWIFR) pilot grant program to build innovation in the recycling industry.
The Chamber encourages the committee to support EPA efforts to streamline agency permitting processes and accelerate decision-making to support investments designed to improve America’s transportation, water, broadband, energy, and other critical infrastructure. The energy infrastructure investments should focus not only on carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) and renewable energy projects as identified in the budget request but be applied to major energy infrastructure projects of all kinds.
The Chamber also encourages funding for EPA to initiate implementation of the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (USE-IT). Passed by Congress in December 2020, the Act authorizes $85 million for carbon utilization and direct air capture research activities.
Finally, the Chamber urges full funding for EPA’s recently authorized Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program at the requested level of $150 million. Expanded funding for this successful and well-managed program would allow EPA to accelerate the pace at which older diesel engines are retired or retrofitted, particularly in areas with significant air quality challenges.
The Chamber appreciates your consideration of these recommendations as you prepare to mark up the Fiscal Year 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Neil L. Bradley
cc: Members of the House Committee on Appropriations