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Archive for the ‘Chesapeake Bay’ Category

Last week Congressman Bob Goodlatte (VA) introduced legislation (H.R. 4153) to limit EPA regulatory authority over the Chesapeake Bay restoration process.  This week, the House continues to grapple with transportation reauthorization legislation; the Senate passed their bill last week.

Tuesday:

USGS water resources FY13 budget hearing
House Natural Resources Committee — Water & Power Subcommittee
March 20 — 2pm; 1334 Longworth

NOAA FY13 budget hearing
House Appropriations Committee — Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee
March 20 — 2:30pm; H-309 Capitol

Wednesday:

Water infrastructure financing hearing
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee — Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee
March 21 — 10am; 2167 Rayburn

Interior and EPA FY13 appropriations public witness hearing
House Appropriations Committee —  Interior & Environment Subcommittee
March 21 — 1pm; B-308 Rayburn

Thursday:

EPA FY13 budget hearing
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee
March 22 — 10am; 406 Dirksen

National Ocean Policy hearing
House Natural Resources Committee — Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Subcommittee
March 22 —  9:30am; 1324 Longworth

Interior and EPA FY13 appropriations public witness hearing
House Appropriations Committee —  Interior & Environment Subcommittee
March 21 — 1pm; B-308 Rayburn

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UPDATE 12/16:  Late last night, House and Senate conferees signed off on a conference report for the “megabus” package of several FY12 spending bills.  Rather than moving forward with the package released by the House yesterday (and initially described below), both chambers will now consider and vote on the conference report (H.R. 2055) within the next 48 hours or so.  Content of the two versions is nearly identical–only the vehicle is different.  Explanatory information for the bills has also been released and additional details are now included below.

12/15:  Today, the House unveiled its “megabus” proposal (H.R. 3571) for fiscal year 2012 appropriations.  The large package of bills contains 9 pieces of spending legislation, including Energy & Water and Interior & Environment.  Some highlights are below, more will be added as it becomes available.

The current continuing resolution expires at midnight tomorrow — it is unclear if this package will be approved by both chambers of Congress by then, but votes are expected tomorrow, and “votes are possible this weekend and next week.”

Energy & Water:  Provides the US Army Corps of Engineers with $5 billion, $145 billion above FY11. (Explanation)

  • Operation & Maintenance: $2.412 billion
  • O&M Delaware River: Philadelphia to the sea, $20.989 million; Philadelphia to Trenton, $1.073 million
  • Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery: $4.9 million

Interior & Environment:  Provides the US Environmental Protection Agency with $8.4 billion, $233 million below FY11. (Explanation)

  • Chesapeake Bay Program:  $57.391 million; $2 million for small watershed grants
  • Chesapeake Bay Executive Order:  $1.5 million; directive for an analysis of endocrine disruptors
  • Clean Water State Revolving Fund:  $1.469 billion; -$56 million FY11 (State by state breakdown)
  • National Estuary Program:  $27.058 million

Provides the Interior Department with $10.3 billion, $310 million below FY11.

  • US Fish & Wildlife Service:  $1.5 billion, -$28 million FY11
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act:  $35.554 million, -$2 million FY11
  • Land & Water Conservation Fund:  $322 million (needs verification)

Most controversial policy riders that were included in early drafts of these appropriations bills have not been included in the final megabus.

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Following last week’s consideration of two regulatory reform bills, the House will this week address the “Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act,” or REINS Act, which would require Congressional scrutiny of federal regulation that cause an economic impact greater than $100 million.

Thursday:

Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, Chesapeake Bay Gateways & Watertrails Network Reauthorization Act markup
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee
December 8 — 9:30am; 406 Dirksen

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Reports indicate that the Senate will vote on the fiscal year 2012 agriculture, CJS, transportation appropriations package this week, then shift focus to another package of spending bills that may include the energy and water appropriations legislation.

Wednesday:

Regulatory cost-benefit analysis bill markup
House Judiciary Committee
November 3 — 10am; 2141 Rayburn

Thursday:

Chesapeake Bay EPA TMDL hearing
House Agriculture Committee — Conservation, Energy and Forestry Subcommittee
November 3 — 10am; 1300 Longworth

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Last Friday, the Senate appropriations committee released its draft FY2012 Interior and Environment legislation — the only remaining bill out of 12 to be addressed.  The draft provides $8.620 billion (a $62 million cut from FY11) for the US Environmental Protection Agency and more than $10.275 billion (a $288 million cut) for the US Department of the Interior.

An accompanying table shows $1.47 billion allocated to the US Fish & Wildlife

Service and $1.063 billion for the US Geological Survey.  Clean Water State Revolving Funds would receive $1.5 billion and Section 106 grants wouldreceive nearly $239 million — both equivalent to FY11.

Chesapeake Bay restoration is allocated $60.4 million — $6 million above FY11.  Long Island Sound would receive less than $4 million.

Further committee action on the bill remains unclear.

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The House is scheduled tomorrow to consider the longer-term continuing resolution passed by the Senate to fund the federal government through November 18.

Tuesday:

US Department of Energy “fracking panel” hearing
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
October 4 — 10am; 366 Dirksen

Nutrient pollution hearing
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — Water & Wildlife Subcommittee
October 4 — 2:30pm; 406 Dirksen

 

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–Last week, the White House Office of Management and Budget released its guidance to federal agencies for drafting fiscal year 2013 budgets.  Requests submissions are to cut 5% from FY2011 enacted levels — and include an alternative budget that makes additional reductions of 10%.

–The US Department of Agriculture announced this week that it is awarding $848,424 in grants to the Chesapeake Bay watershed through the Conservation Innovation Grants program.  The money will flow through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and support manure management and water quality improvement in the watershed.  Projects in other mid-Atlantic states will receive funding for additional poultry and nutrient management efforts.

–This week, the US Geological Survey released a report that suggests a significant increase in the estimated amount of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale.

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