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Benefits from Omnibus Spending Bill Passed by Congress

PRess Release

12 March 2009


Contact:  Tom Wolfe


Northeast-Midwest Institute

50 F Street NW, Suite 950

Washington DC  20001


Northeast-Midwest Region Will Benefit from

Omnibus Spending Bill Passed by Congress


Washington, DC — The Northeast-Midwest region will reap significant benefits from
increases in the funding levels of a number of federal programs in the recently enacted $410 billion Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.  This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives in late February, passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, and was signed by President Obama yesterday.  The following programs vital to the region were included in the Omnibus bill:


Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies ($20.5 billion, $2.5 billion increase) includes the following programs:

·         Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC):  $6.9 billion, $1.2 billion above 2008, to provide proper nutrition to mothers and their children.

·         Commodity Supplemental Food Program:  $160.4 million, $20.7 million above 2008, to provide nutritious food to nearly a half million low-income women, infants, children, and elderly citizens struggling with rising food costs.

·         Conservation Programs:  $968 million, $32 million above 2008, for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.


Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies ($51.8 billion, $5.9 billion increase) includes the following programs:

·         Manufacturing Extension Partnerships:  $110 million to help small and mid-size manufacturers compete globally.

·         Technology Innovation Program:  $65 million to fund high-risk high-reward research into areas of critical national need.

·         Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms:  $15.8 million to assist hundreds of qualifying small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies that experience loss of jobs and sales because of foreign imports. 


Energy and Water Development ($33.3 billion, $2.4 billion increase) includes the following programs:

·         Weatherization Grants:  $200 million for insulation and energy conservation measures to reduce utility bills for low-income families.

·         State Energy Program:  $50 million to assist states in improving the energy efficiency of schools, hospitals, small businesses, farms, homes, and industries. 

·         Innovative Technology Loan Guarantees:  Extends loan guarantee authority for Innovative Technology, and includes $18.5 billion in loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

·         Energy-Efficient Buildings:  $140 million to research conservation technologies for buildings and industry to reduce energy demand.

·         Industrial Technologies: $90 million to help businesses improve energy efficiency.

·         Energy Information Administration (EIA):  $110.59 million for EIA to provide unbiased data to Congress, states, private businesses, and the public. 


Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies ($27.6 billion, $1.3 billion increase) includes the following programs:

·         Clean Drinking Water and Wastewater:  $1.5 billion for the State Revolving Funds to provide roughly 516 low-interest loans to help local communities improve their drinking water and wastewater systems. This includes:

o    $689 million for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund;

o    $829 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund; and

o    $145 million for State and Tribal Grant (STAG) grants.

·         Cleaning Up Hazardous Waste and Toxic Sites:  $815 million, $22 million above 2008, to clean up dangerous toxic waste, including:

o    $605 million for the Superfund;

o    $112 million to inspect and clean up underground toxic spills; and

o    $97 million for evaluation and cleanup of brownfields.


Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies ($151.8 billion, $6.7 billion increase):

·         Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP):  $5.1 billion was included in the Continuing Resolution; no additional funding is in this bill.


Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies ($55 billion, $6.2 billion increase) includes the following programs:

·         Amtrak:  $1.5 billion, $165 million above 2008.

·         Community Development Block Grants:  $3.9 billion, $34 million above 2008, to fund community and economic development projects in 1,180 localities.

·         Brownfields Redevelopment:  $10 million, to clean up former commercial and industrial sites.

·         HOPE VI:  $120 million, $20 million above 2008, for competitive grants to revitalize neighborhoods with deteriorating public housing projects.

·         Highway Infrastructure:  $40.7 billion, $484 million above 2008.

·         Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control:  $140 million, with at least $14.6 million for the Healthy Homes Initiative.

·         HUD Section 108 (Guaranteed Loans):  $6 million, $1.5 above 2008.

·         HOME Investment Partnership Program:  $1.82 billion, $121 million above 2008.


Watersheds Funding

These location-based programs were spread over several different appropriations bills:

  • Upper Mississippi River

o    Corps of Engineers’ Environmental Management Program:  $17.71 million for construction.

o    Corps of Engineers’ Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program:  $8.6 million for investigations.


  • Chesapeake Bay

    • EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program:  $31 million total.

      • $21 million for the base program,

      • $2 million for the Small Watershed Grants, and

      • $8 million for the Targeted Watershed Program/Non-Point Reductions for the Bay.

    • NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Studies:  $2.95 million.

    • NOAA Chesapeake Bay Oyster Restoration:  $4.6 million.

    • Corps of Engineers’ Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery:  $2 million

    • NRCS Support for Chesapeake Activities on Farms:  $3.99 million (this figure does not include $23 million in mandatory funding already released by USDA for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Initiative in 2009).

    • District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority:  $16 million for the Long Term Control Plan/Combined Sewer Overflow.


  • Mid-Atlantic River Basin

    • Susquehanna River Basin Commission:  $1 million.

    • Delaware River Basin Commission:  $715,000.

    • Interstate Commission for the Potomac River Basin:  $650,000.


·         Great Lakes

o    EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office:  $23 million for Great Lakes grants and implementing programs.

o    EPA’s Great Lakes Legacy Program:  $37 million to clean up contaminated sediment at Areas of Concern.

o    USGS’s Great Lakes Science Center:  $9 million for research and the large vessel program.

o    Great Ships Initiative:  Nearly $1 million in new funds to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes.

o    Corps of Engineers’ RAP Assistance:  $1.95 million to provide technical assistance to communities with Remedial Action Plans.

o    Corps of Engineers’ Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Program:  $2.16 million to restore fishery, ecosystem, and other beneficial uses in the Great Lakes.

o    Corps of Engineers’ Soo Lock Replacement Project:  $17 million to replace the non-functioning locks with one larger lock.

o    Great Lakes Fishery Commission:  $19.2 million to control sea lamprey.


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