FY 2013 House Appropriations Committee’s Recommendations for USGS

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Publication date: 
13 July 2012
Number: 
100

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.”

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