Issue Brief 23-08
July 31, 2023

Fiscal year (FY) 2022 marked the reintroduction of earmarks in the congressional appropriations process for the first time since FY 2013. In most cases, appropriations for earmarks are included in the enacted budget as separate line items, as opposed to being carved out of funding for core programs. But in FYs 2022 and 2023, two formula programs administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were treated differently: the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF). In each of these years, earmarks were embedded in the appropriations for these programs, leaving significantly less for allocation to states by formula.

This Issue Brief discusses the impact of earmarks on CWSRF and DWSRF state funding for FYs 2022-2023. It also highlights secondary effects on program administration at both the federal and state levels.