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FY 2013 House Appropriations Committee’s Recommendations for USGS

Richard M. Jones
Number 100 - July 13, 2012  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee released its report accompanying H.R. 6091, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill for FY 2013.  House Report 112-589 outlines funding and policy recommendations for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Starting on page 30 of the report, the committee sets forth about1 ½ pages of recommendations regarding various USGS programs, selections of which appear below.  Program funding recommendations start on page 154; aggregate figures follow.

Total USGS:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $1,068.0 million
The Administration requested $1,102.5 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $967.0 million, a decrease of $101.0 million or 9.5 percent

On page 7 of the report, under a section entitled “Expired Authorizations,” the appropriators explain:

“No less than 51 agencies and/or programs under the jurisdiction of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee remain unauthorized or have an expired Congressional authorization of appropriations . . . .   Together these unauthorized agencies and programs comprise nearly $6 billion of this fiscal year 2013 appropriation bill.

“Given the number of unauthorized programs, the Committee reserves the option to limit future funding for unauthorized programs or discontinue funding all together. In the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill, the Committee has exercised that option by decreasing or terminating funding for fish and wildlife conservation; funding for USGS science programs; EPA’s U.S.-Mexico border grant program; EPA’s environmental education program; and others.

“The Committee urges the appropriate authorizing committees to expeditiously reauthorize these and other unauthorized agencies and/or programs in a timely fashion and encourages all entities with an interest in these laws to work with those authorizing committees to do so.”

Later in the report, it states:

“Bill Language. -- The bill provides two-year funding authority except for satellite operations and deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects, which are no-year authority. Provisos include a funding limitation on surveys on private property and a cost-share requirement on topographic mapping and water resources activities carried on in cooperation with States and municipalities.”

Within the USGS budget are the following programs:

Ecosystems:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $161.3 million
The Administration requested $177.9 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $132.5 million, a decrease of $28.8 million or 17.9 percent

The report stated:

“Within Ecosystems, the bill includes the following program increases, as requested: $1,000,000 for white nose syndrome in bats; $2,000,000 for Great Lakes Asian carp control; and $1,000,000 for Upper Mississippi Asian carp control.”

Climate and Land Use Change:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $144.1 million
The Administration requested $153.8 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $128.3 million, a decrease of $15.8 million or 11.0 percent

The report stated:

“Within Climate and Land Use Change, the bill includes the following program changes, as requested: an increase of $500,000 for climate science support on tribal lands; a decrease of $1,750,000 from Land Remote Sensing; and an increase of $750,000 for disaster response.”

Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $96.2 million
The Administration requested $97.1 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $88.3 million, a decrease of $8.0 million or 8.3 percent

The report stated:

“Within Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health, the bill includes the following program changes, as requested: an increase of $1,000,000 for rare earth elements research; and a decrease of $250,000 from the minerals external research program. The Committee does not accept the proposed reductions of $500,000 from Contaminant Biology and $2,000,000 from Toxic Substances Hydrology.  The Committee supports continuing efforts by the Survey to conduct an in-depth analysis of the extent and sources of endocrine-disrupting chemicals impacting fish and wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.”

Natural Hazards:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $134.5 million
The Administration requested $144.8 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $107.4 million, a decrease of $27.1 million or 20.2 percent

The report stated:

“Within Natural Hazards, the bill includes the following program decreases, as requested: $300,000 from volcano observatory assessments; and $700,000 from the National Volcano Early Warning System.

“The Committee recognizes that earthquakes are a destructive and costly natural hazard threat to the United States. Given that many regions remain vulnerable to earthquake hazards, the Committee encourages the Survey to continue its efforts with partner stakeholders in research, development, and outreach to increase preparedness across the country. Furthermore, the Committee recognizes the importance of a robust earthquake monitoring network to the safety and vitality of our Nation and encourages the Survey, in conjunction with stakeholders, to continue efforts to maintain and develop the Advanced National Seismic System in order to enable early earthquake warnings.”

Water Resources:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $214.7 million
The Administration requested $209.8 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $219.8 million, an increase of $5.2 million or 2.4 percent

The report stated:

“Within Water Resources, the bill includes the following program changes: an increase of $2,500,000 for a groundwater network, as requested; a decrease of $459,000 from National Water Quality Assessment instead of the requested $6,049,000 decrease; and an increase of $3,112,000 for disaster response within the National Streamflow Information Program instead of the requested $5,500,000 increase.”

Core Science Systems:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $106.7 million
The Administration requested $120.4 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $112.3 million, an increase of $5.6 million or 5.3 percent

The report stated:

“Within Core Science Systems, the bill includes the following program decreases, as requested: $700,000 from data management; and $446,000 from data preservation.”

Administration and Enterprise Information:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $110.2 million
The Administration requested $99.1 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $82.4 million, a decrease of $27.8 million or 25.2 percent

The report stated:

“Within Administration and Enterprise Information, the bill includes a combined decrease of $3,691,000 from Administrative Services, as requested.”

Facilities:

The FY 2012 appropriation was $100.4 million
The Administration requested $99.7 million
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $96.0 million, a decrease of $4.4 million or 4.4 percent

The report stated:

“Within Facilities, the bill includes a program decrease of $4,390,000 due to operations and maintenance efficiencies, as requested.”

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095