The Natural Resources and Environment Function in the FY2003 Federal Budget: An Overview of Programs and Funding
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS W eb
The Natural Resources and Environment
Function in the F Y2003 Federal Budget:
An Overview of Programs and Funding
Envi ronmental Policy Analys t
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
Fu n ction 300 of the federal budget incl udes funding for n atural resource a n d
environmental activities, an d i s divided into five subfunctions: wat er resources ,
conservation and land management, recreational resources, pollution control and
abatement, and o ther activities like research and t echnical support. The Administration
requested $29.97 billion i n budget authority and $30.60 b illion in outlays for these
activities i n FY2003. During the 107th Congress, the House p assed a budget resolution
f o r FY2003 (H.Con.Res. 353) that proposed $29.22 billion i n budget authority an d
$29.87 billion i n outlays for Function 300. Th e S enate Budget Committee also reported
its version o f t he resolution (S.Con.Res. 100), which proposed $33.29 billion i n budget
authority and $31.55 billion i n outlays for Function 300, but floor action was not taken.
Due m ost l y t o l arge d i fferences i n overal l fun d i n g , a b i cam eral agreem ent o n t he
FY2003 budget resolution was not reached, and appropriations proceeded without a fin a lth
budget resolution i n p lace. The 108 C o n g r e s s completed action o n FY2003
appropriations for m ost federal progra m s , i ncluding those under Function 300, under
H.J . Res. 2 (P.L. 108-7). Accor d i n g t o t h e Office of Management and Budget, final
appropriations enacted for FY2003 provided a total of $31.20 billion i n budget authority
and a total o f $31.16 billion i n outlays for p rograms t hat fall under Function 300, both
of which were h igher t han requested.
The federal budget is divided i nto 2 0 s pending and revenue functions. Function 300
incl udes activities rel at ed to natural res ources and t he environment and is divided i nto five
s u b f u n ctions: water resources, conservatio n a nd land management, recreational resources,
pollution control and abat em ent, and other activities such as research and t ech n i cal
support. The Ho u s e a nd Senate Budget Committ ees traditionally develop a concurrent
resolution o n t he budget according t o p rocedures e s t a b lished under t he Congressional
Budget and Impoundment C ontrol Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 631 et seq.). W hile the House
and S enate vote o n t he budget resolution, it is not submitted for the P resident’s approval,
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
and t herefore does not become law. This annual r e s olution establishes budget policies
and assumptions for s pe n d i n g a n d r evenue, and sets the l evel of budget authority and
outlays for t he 20 budget functions. 1 The House and Senate Appropriations Committees
traditionally use t he policies and funding levels in the budget resolution as a gu ideline t o
allocate funding for Function 300 to various federal agencies under 6 o f t h e 1 3 annual
appropriations bills.2 The figure b elow displays a 5 -year funding history for Function 300
programs from FY1999 through FY2003.
Budget Authority and Outlays f or Function 300: FY1999 to FY2003
B illio ns o f D o lla r s
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
Outlays 23. 97 25. 03 26. 34 29. 45 31. 16
Budget Authority 24. 43 25. 03 29. 76 31. 13 31. 20
For purposes of comparis on to othe r years, does not include e me rgency and s upplementa l a mounts for home la nd security.Prepared by CRS with data from the O ffice of M a na ge me nt and Budge t a nd congre ssional documents .
During the 107 th Congress, the House p assed i t s v ersion o f t he FY2003 budget
resolution (H.Con.Res. 353, H.Rept . 107-376) on March 20, 2002, approving $29.22
billion i n budget authority and $29.87 billion i n outlays for Function 300. The
Administration h ad requested high er amounts o f $29.97 billion i n budget authority and
$30.60 billion i n outlays . Although t he House approved an overall decrease for Function
300, it assumed full funding of the Administra tion’s request for s everal natural resource
and environmental program s. The S enat e Budget Committee filed i t s rep o r t o n t he
1 Budget authority is new f unding which may be spent within the year that it is made available,
or in some cases, carried over to future years. Outlays are t he actual amounts t h a t are spent
within a year. Generally, budget authority is a more accurate indicator of funding trends because
o u t l a ys c a n va ry widely from year to year depending on ma ny factors s uch a s t he payment of
funds obligated in past years f or the completion of l ong-t erm proj ects.
2 T he s ix appropriations bills that fund programs under Function 300 include: 1) Department of
Agriculture and Related Agencies; 2) Commerce, J ustice, and State, t he J udiciary and Related
Agencies; 3) Energy a nd Water Deve lopment; 4 ) D e p a r t me nt of the Interior a nd Related
Age n c i e s ; 5) Department of T ransportation and Related Agencies; and 6) V eterans Affairs,
Housing a nd Urban Development, and Independent Agencies.
FY2003 budget resolution (S.C on.Res. 100, S.Rept. 107-141) on April 11, 2002. The
committee approved higher amounts of $33.29 billion i n budget a u t hority and $31.55
billion i n outlays for Function 300, and assu med t ar get ed i ncreases for numerous
programs. Floor action o n S .Con.Res. 100 was not taken.
The 107th Congress did not reach a b i c a m e ral agreement o n t he FY2003 budget
resolution, primarily due to the l ack of reconciliation over t he large differences in overall
funding between the House and Senate. C onsideration o f F Y2003 appropriations
proceeded without a b icamer al agreement o n t he budget resolution i n p lace. As of the
adjournment o f t he 107 th Congress, the appropriations bills for t he Department of Defense
and Military Construction had been en act ed, but Congress had not completed
consideration of t he remaining appropriations bills, i ncluding those which fund programs
under Function 300. Debate over FY2003 app r o p r i a tions ex tended i nto t he 108 th
Congress, and final appropriations for FY 2003 were provided i n H.J .Res. 2 (P.L. 108-7). 3
According t o t he Office of Management and Budge t , final appropriations enacted for
FY2003 provided a total of $31.20 billion i n budget authority and a total of $31.16 billion
in outlays for program s t hat fal l under Function 300, both of which were higher than
The following sections describe the activities under each subfunction o f Func tion
300, indicate t he final enacted level o f budget authority and outlays for each subfunction
as well as the Administration’s request, list t he federal agencies t hat implement various
programs, ex amine p rovisions in the House an d S e n a t e versions of the FY2003 budget
resolution relevant t o each subfunction, and p rovi d e information o n o ffsetting receipts,
t ax revenues, and t ax i n cent i v es. 4
The s u b f u n ction for water resources includes funding for t he Department of
Defense’s Army C orps of Engi neers (Corps) and t he Department of the Interior’s Bu reau
of Recl am ation (BOR). The Corps constructs and m ai ntai ns facilities for flood control,
commercial navigation, and hydroel ect ri c power. The Corps operates n ationwide, but
BOR constructs, m ai ntai ns, and operates diversion dams, res ervoirs, and related facilities
that provide water for irrigation, hydroelect ric power, and municipal and industrial u ses
i n 17 west ern s t at es. Num erous wat er p roj ect s h ave b een cont roversi al b ecause of t h ei r
percei ved negative effect s on wat er quality and fish and wildlife hab i t at .5 Fi nal
appropriations enacted for FY2003 provided $5.50 billion i n budget authority and $5.83
billion i n outlays for water resources, compared t o $5.88 billion i n budget authority and
$5.57 billion i n outlays in FY2002. The A d m i n i s t r ation h ad requested $4.93 billion i n
3 For i nforma tion on FY2003 funding for i ndivi dual progr ams by a ge ncy, refer t o t he CRS
appr opr i a t i ons web s i t e at [ ht t p: / / www.cr s.gov/ pr oduct s / a ppr opr i a t i ons/ f y03app.sht ml ] .
4 This report does not include information on military cleanup and other defense-related
envi ronmental progr ams a dministered by t he Departme nt of Defense a nd the Department of
Energy. Funding for t hese programs is allocated under Function 50 f or National Defense. For
information on t hem, refer t o CRS Report RL31456, D e f e nse Cleanup and Environmental
Programs: Authorization and Appropriations for FY 2003 .
5 For a discussion of these a nd othe r i ssues, r efer to CRS Report RS20569, Water Resource Issues
in the 108th Congress .
budget authority and $5.28 billion i n outlays for FY2003. Most of the requested decrease
was d u e t o a p roposed reduction o f $460 million i n d iscretionary funds for t he Corps’
ci vi l works proj ect s. The Adm i n i s t rat i o n request ed t h i s decrease b ecause i t sought t o
eliminate certain “earmarked” p rojects t hat i t believed fell outside of the C orps’ historic
As passed, H.Con.Res. 353 assumed full fundi ng of the Administration’s request for
a $19 million i ncrease for the C orps’ s almon conservation efforts, from $109 million i n
FY2002 to $128 million i n FY2003. As reported, S.Con.Res. 100 assumed $990 million
more than the request of $4 billion i n d iscre tionary funding for t he Corps, and i t assumed
“at least” $888 million for the BOR to help reduce t he backlog o f authorized projects.
S.Con.Res. 100 also recommended i ncreas ing B O R funds due to the importance of
drinking water and irrigation p rojects.
Conserva tion and Land M anagement
The s ubfu n ction for conservation and land management includes funding for t he
Department of the Interior’s Bu rea u of Indi an Affairs, Bu reau of Land Management,
Mi neral s Managem ent S erv i ce, Nat i onal P ark S ervi ce, and Fi s h and W i l d l i fe S ervi ce,
which m anage t he majority of federal l ands. This s ubfunction also contains funding for
the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service a n d N a tural R es ources Conservation
S ervi ce, and t he Depart m ent of C o m m erce’s N at i onal M ari n e Fi s heri es S ervi ce. 6 Fi nal
appropriations enacted for FY2003 provided $10.25 billion i n budget authority and $9.66
billion i n outlays for conservation and land management, compared t o $9.80 billion both
in budget authority and i n o u t l a ys i n FY2002. The Administration h ad requested $9.92
billion i n budget authority and $9.66 billion i n outlays for FY2003.
As passed, H.Con.Res. 353 indicated that f unding for t he Pacific Northwest Salmon
Recovery program s hould receive a “high prior ity”, but a dollar amount was not specified.
It al s o assumed full funding of the Administration’s request fo r s everal activities,
including the Land a n d W ater C onservation Fund, National W ildlife R efuge S ys tem,
wildland fire prevention, and m aintenance an d repair o f Bureau of Indian Affairs s chools.
As reported, S.Con.Res. 100 assumed full funding for t he Paym ents in Li eu of Tax es
program, which compensates local governments for the l oss o f p roperty t ax revenues from
non-tax able federal lands. S .Con.Res. 100 al s o as sumed $164 million m ore t han
requested fo r s al mon conservation and restoration, full funding of $1.92 billion for the
Land, Conservation, Preservation, and Infrastructure Improvement program (commonly
referred t o as t he conservation s pending category), an (unspecified) i ncrease fo r the
National W ildlife R efuge S ys tem, and (unspeci fied) m andatory funding for agricultural
conservation p rograms.
The s ubfunction for recreational resources includes funding for t he Department of
Agricu lture’s Fo rest Service and the Dep artment of the Interior’s Bu reau of Land
Managem ent , N at i onal P ark S ervi ce, and Fi s h and W i l d l i fe S ervi ce, whi ch m anage
6 For a discussion of related i ssues, r efer to CRS Issue Brief IB96030, S o i l and Water
Conservation I ssues , a nd CRS Issue Brief IB10076, Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests.
federal l ands that offer out door recreational opportunities.7 Fi nal appropriations enacted
for FY2003 provided $2.91 billion i n budget authority and $3.06 billion i n outlays for
recreational resources, compared t o $3.04 billion i n budget authority and $2.75 billion i n
outlays in FY2002. The Administration had requested $3.07 billion i n budget authority
and $3.17 billion i n outlays for FY2003. As passed, H.Con.Res . 353 assumed full
funding of the $ 6 6 3 million requested for p ar k m aintenance and construction, which
included funding to reduce b acklogged p roject s. As reported, S.Con.Res. 100 assumed
$137 million m ore t han r eq u e s t ed for operati ons of the National P ark S ervice, and
recommended i ncreases over t he nex t 5 year s t o m ake u p for funding shortfalls.
Pol l uti on Contr ol a nd Abatement
The s ubfunction for pollution control and abatement i nclu d e s f u nding for t he
E n v i r o n m e n t a l P r o t e c t i o n A ge n c y ( E P A ) , w h i c h i s t h e p r i m a r y f e d e r a l agency responsibl e
for t he control of pollution and the cleanu p o f civilian environmental contamination.
EPA’s m ain functions are to enforce federal environmental l aws and regu lations and assist
stat e, local , and tribal governments i n controlling pollution.8 Funding for t he U.S. Coast
Guard’s p rograms t o p revent and clean up hazardous spills on coastal and inland
waterways also falls under t his s ubfuncti on. Fi nal appropriations e n a c t e d for FY2003
provided $ 8 .05 billion i n budget authority and $8.21 billion i n outlays for pollution
co n t r o l and abatement, compared to $8.01 billion i n budget authority and $7.62 billion
in outlays in FY2002. The Administration had requested $7.70 billion i n budget authority
and $8.23 billion i n outlays for FY2003. The requested decrease i n n ew budget authority
w a s p rimarily due to the p roposed elimination o f s upport for “earmarked” p rojects i n
EPA’s budget, m ost o f which were fo r waste water i nfrastructure.
As passed, H.Con.Res. 353 assumed full fundi ng of the Administration’s request of
$4.1 billion for EPA’s core operating programs, and $200 million for the cleanup o f
brownfields. Li ke the House, S.Con.Res. 100, as reported, also assumed $200 million for
the cleanup of brownfields. However, the S enate resolution assumed $113 million m ore
than requested for t he cleanup of haz ardous waste s ites under t he Superfund program, $15
million m ore t han requested for f ederal personnel t o enfor ce environmental l aws, and
recommended “full” funding for t he Clean W ater S tate Revolving Fund, which appeared
to mean the FY2002 funding level o f $1.35 billion.
Other Natural Resources
The s ubfunction for “other natural resources” i ncludes activities s uch as res earch and
technical support. The agencies funded under t his s ubfunction i nclude the U.S.
Geol ogi cal S u r v ey (US G S ) and t he Nat i onal O ceani c and A t m o spheri c A dm i n i s t rat i o n
(NOAA). T he USGS conducts research on land, water, mineral, and biological resources
and o n n atural h a z a r d s. NOAA conducts res earch on ocean and coastal resources, air
quality monitoring, climate change, and ozone depletion, and adminis t e rs the National
7 For a d i s c ussion of recreation i ssues, r efer to CRS Issue Brief IB10093, National Park
Management and Recreation.
8 For a discussion of pollution c ontrol a nd abat ement i ssues, r efer to CRS Issue Brief IB10115,
Environmental Protection I ssues in the 108th Congress .
Weather S erv i ce. Fi nal appropriations enacted for FY2003 provided $4.50 billion i n
budget authority and $4.41 billion i n outlays for research and t echnical support activities,
compared to $4.40 billion i n budget authority and $3.72 billion i n outlays in FY2002.
The Administration h ad requested $4.35 billion i n budget authority and $4.26 billion i n
outlays for FY2003. Neither H.Con.Res. 353 as passed, nor S.Con.Res. 100 as reported,
included funding assumptions related t o research and t echnical support.
Offsetting Receipts, Tax Revenues, and Tax Incentive s
Natural res ource and environmental program s under Function 300 are f unded not
only b y general tax revenues, but are also s upported b y receipts from a variety o f s ales,
fees, royalties, and l eases. M ajor sources o f o ffsetting receipts under Function 300
incl ude timber sales, recreational fees , park concession fees , grazing fees , mineral
royalties from l eases on onshore s ites, and out er continental s helf (OCS) receipts from
offshore o il and gas leases. S uperfund tax es, which s upport cleanup of haz ardous waste
sites, were another s ource of revenue under Function 300 at one time, but tax i ng authority
ex pired o n December 31, 1995. W h ether t o reins tate the t ax es has b een an ongoing issue
in the S uperfund reauthorization debat e.9
In addition t o ex i sting revenues, the P resident’s FY2003 budget assumed future
revenues from l eas ing t he Arctic National W ildlife R efuge (ANWR) for oil and gas
ex ploration. W h ile these revenues would not have directly supported p rograms under
Function 300, the p roposal was controversial o n environmental grounds due to concerns
over t he potential harm t o critical wildlife habitat t hat might occur as a result of oil and
gas ex p loration and development. Neither H.Con.Res. 353 as passed, nor S.Con.Res. 100
as reported, assumed revenues from s uch l eases. However, House repo r t l a n gu a ge
i ndi cat ed t h at t h e l ack of assum ed revenues d id not preclude the House from authoriz ing
such l eases. 10
Under Function 300, several t ax incentives r e l ated t o n atural resource and
environmental activities are al so available t o s tate and l ocal governments and the private
sect or. T hese i n cent i v es cost t h e federal governm ent i n t erm s o f reduced t ax revenues.
The Office of Management and Budget estimated t hat $1.46 billion i n t ax incentives were
available under Function 300 au t h o r ities in FY2003. Of this amount, s tate and l ocal
governments were eligible for assistance of $480 million i n t he form of tax -ex empt bonds
to construct water, s ewer, and haz ardous waste m anagement facilities. The timber
industry was eligible for t ax incentives of $480 mill ion, and t he mining i ndustry was
eligible for $290 million i n t ax incentives. There also were $210 million i n t ax incentives
for h istoric p reservation under Function 300.
9 For f urther discussion, refer t o CRS Issue Brief IB10114, Brownfields and Superfund Issues in
the 108 th Congress .
10 F o r a discussion of releva nt legi slation, refer t o CRS Issue Brief IB10111, Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies for t he 108 th Congress .