According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), top-line funding levels for 12 appropriations bills were released April 24 and approved by the House Appropriations Committee the following day.The Budget Resolution passed by the House in late March set the overall top-line discretionary spending level of $1.028 trillion, leaving Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) with the responsibility of splitting the funding adequately between 12 subcommittees while still meeting the austere figure.
The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill will receive $51.6 billion, which is a decrease from the $55.6 billion level set in FY’12. A subcommittee markup for the THUD appropriations bill has not yet been scheduled, but may occur as early as the week of May 7.
During the full committee markup of the FY’13 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) offered an amendment to prevent an unprecedented expansion of authority under the Clean Water Act by prohibiting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from expanding its jurisdiction to include “non-navigable” waters. The amendment passed the committee April 25 by a vote of 29 to 20.
The Corps and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a joint draft guidance in May 2011 to greatly expand the jurisdiction of waters in the United States under the CWA, and is now awaiting review at the Office of Management and Budget. The guidance would increase the number of Clean Water Act permits required by the aggregates industry. After the markup, Rehberg said his colleague Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, will offer a similar amendment during markup of the Interior bill. A date for that bill’s markup has yet to be announced.
NSSGA continues to be a leader in the fight against EPA’s attempts to take over all waters of the United States, and will continue to inform members of new developments.