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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations

Carol Hardy Vincent, Coordinator
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy

The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill includes funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), except for the Bureau of Reclamation, and for agencies within other departments—including the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Indian Health Service (IHS) within the Department of Health and Human Services. It also includes funding for arts and cultural agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous other entities.

The FY2011 appropriation for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies was $29.67 billion, a reduction of $2.65 billion (8%) from the FY2010 level of $32.32 billion. The FY2011 funding was included in the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (P.L. 112-10). While most of the major agencies funded by the law received reduced appropriations relative to FY2010, a few received additional funding. Among the decreases for FY2011 from FY2010 appropriations were the following: 

  • $1.59 billion (15%) for the Environmental Protection Agency, 
  • $602.0 million (11%) for the Forest Service, 
  • $140.6 million (9%) for the Fish and Wildlife Service, and 
  • $127.2 million (5%) for the National Park Service. 
Among the increases were the following: 
  • $72.7 million (53%) for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, and 
  • $25.0 million (0.6%) for the Indian Health Service. 
No regular appropriations bill to fund Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies for FY2011 had been enacted before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2010. Initially, a series of laws was enacted to continue appropriations for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies for relatively short periods, mostly at FY2010 account levels. However, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act provided funding for accounts in the bill through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2011), with many accounts funded at less than the FY2010 level. The FY2011 law did not generally identify funding below the account level for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. Rather, it directed the agencies to submit plans for spending for activities and programs below the account level, to the Appropriations Committees, within 30 days of enactment. The law was enacted on April 15, 2011.

Congress typically debates a variety of funding and policy issues when considering each year’s appropriations legislation. These issues have included energy development onshore and offshore, wildland fire fighting, Indian trust fund management, royalty relief, climate change, DOI science programs, and wild horse and burro management. Other issues have included the appropriate funding levels for Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement and education; Indian Health Service construction and contract health services; wastewater/drinking water needs; the arts; land acquisition through the Land and Water Conservation Fund; and the Superfund program.

Date of Report: May 12, 2011
Number of Pages: 60
Order Number: R41258
Price: $29.95

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