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Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

The US House of Representatives is scheduled this week to take up a bill (H.R. 1837) that could have broad implications for the Endangered Species Act and water law and management.

Monday:

Natural gas development and jobs field hearing
House Natural Resources — Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee
February 27 — 9am; Steubenville, Ohio

Tuesday:

Farm bill conservation hearing
Senate Agriculture Committee
February 28 — 10am; 216 Hart

Interior department FY13 budget hearing
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
February 28 — 10am; 366 Dirksen

Water infrastructure hearing
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee — Water & Wildlife Subcommittee
February 28 — 10am; 406 Dirksen

Water infrastructure hearing
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee — Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee
February 28 — 10am; 2167 Rayburn

Environmental Protection Agency FY13 budget hearing
House Energy & Commerce Committee — Energy and Power Subcommittee
February 28 — 10am; 2123 Rayburn

Energy department FY13 budget hearing
House Appropriations Committee — Energy & Water Development Subcommittee
February 28 — 2pm; 2359 Rayburn

Wednesday:

Interior department FY13 budget hearing
Senate Appropriations Committee — Interior & Environment Subcommittee
February 29 — 9:30am; 124 Dirksen

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration FY13 budget hearing
House Appropriations Committee — Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee
February 29 — 10am; H-309 Capitol Building

EPA FY13 budget hearing
House Appropriations Committee — Interior & Environment Subcommittee
February 29 — 1pm; 2359 Rayburn

Thursday:

Fish & Wildlife Service FY13 budget hearing
House Appropriations Committee — Interior & Environment Subcommittee
March 1 — 9am; B-308 Rayburn

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The current continuing resolution that has funded the government past the end of fiscal year 2011 while Congress works out funding details for FY 2012 is set to expire on Friday.  Information on the next omnibus appropriations package and/or CR is expected early this week.

Tuesday:

Water infrastructure hearing
Senate Environment & Public Works Committee — Water & Wildlife Subcommittee
December 13 — 10am; 406 Dirksen

Wednesday:

Water infrastructure hearing
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee — Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee
December 14 — 10am; 2167 Rayburn

Thursday:

Marine debris bill (H.R. 1171) hearing
House Natural Resources Committee — Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans & Insular Affairs
December 15 — 10am; 1324 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 US House of Representatives continues to roll out appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2012 while the Senate has made little to no progress on their suite of bills.

On July 12, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the Interior & Environment spending bill, and it is expected on the House floor within the next few days.  The administration has issued a veto threat given significant funding cuts and policy riders included in the legislation.

On July 13, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the Commerce, Justice & Science appropriations legislation.  The bill provides nearly $4.5 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $685 million for the National Marine Fisheries Service and $74.6 million for Coastal Zone Management.

On July 15, the FY12 Energy & Water Development appropriations bill (H.R. 2354) was passed by the House after several days of debate.

The House Appropriations Committee has tackled nine out of twelve appropriations bills thus far, slightly behind the originally proposed schedule.

Recent anecdotes suggest the Senate is not on track to address the bulk of appropriations (to date, the chamber has only approved the FY12 MilCon-VA bill) before the August recess–and possibly not until late September or early October, setting the stage for a continuing resolution scenario for yet another appropriations cycle.

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On July 6, the House Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee released draft fiscal year 2012 appropriations legislation, which includes $4.5 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, $103 million below FY11 levels.

Also on July 6, the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee released draft FY12 appropriations legislation; it was marked up on July 7.  The bill makes significant cuts, totaling nearly $4 billion, to several programs, including:

  • US Fish & Wildlife Service — $315 million below FY11
  • US Geological Survey — $30 million below FY11
  • Land & Water Conservation Fund — funded at $62 million, $239 million below FY11 and a whopping $838 million below the administration’s request to fully fund the program at $900 million
  • EPA Geographic Programs (including Chesapeake Bay) — $70 million below FY11
  • EPA Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds — $967 million below FY11
  • The bill also includes policy riders that would limit EPA’s ability to promulgate new rules on mountaintop removal mining, stormwater discharges, Clean Water Act jurisdiction and pesticides.
For more detailed information, see the Interior & Environment bill report.  Full committee markup is scheduled for July 12.

The FY12 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill will hit the House floor this week.

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On Thursday, June 23, Congressional leaders in both the US House and Senate  introduced bipartisan legislation—the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011—to protect and enhance the entire Delaware River Basin.  The bill requires the US Fish & Wildlife Service to establish a collaborative program to better coordinate conservation and restoration efforts throughout the Basin.  The bill also provides for a competitive grant program to provide resources for on-the-ground restoration and protection activities.

The House bill, which garnered bipartisan support, was lead by Rep. John Carney (D-DE) and co-sponsored by Delaware River Basin Task Force co-chairs Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), and Charlie Dent (R-PA), as well as Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Pat Meehan (R-PA).

The Senate bill was lead by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and cosponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez (both D-NJ), Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand (both D-NY), and Robert Casey (D-PA).

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In late May, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (FL) and Ranking Member Nick Rahall (WV) introduced a bill (H.R. 2081) to limit EPA’s ability to exercise oversight of dredge and fill permits under the Clean Water Act.  The bill would give states the power to approve EPA vetoes of the permits.  EPA-promulgated water quality standards would also be subject to state approval.  The bill was marked-up in committee on June 22.

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On May 27, Senator Ben Cardin (MD)—joined by 34 other Senators—sent a letter to Senate appropriators requesting that Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds not be cut in fiscal year 2012.  The same day, Senator Cardin introduced legislation to boost research in green infrastructure to reduce polluted stormwater runoff.  A companion bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Donna Edwards (MD).

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This week, Senator Ben Cardin (MD) introduced a bill–the Safe Treatment of Polluted Stormwater Runoff Act–to direct the US Transportation Secretary to institute a program of design standards that would prevent, control, and treat polluted stormwater runoff from federally-funded highways, roads and impervious surfaces that ends up in streams and rivers.  Under this legislation, highways and roads must meet standards to maintain or restore pre-development hydrology, and construction design decisions must consider the natural landscape.

Additionally, Senator Cardin reintroduced a bill to bolster nutria eradication efforts in parts of the nation–including Maryland, Delaware and Virginia–experiencing an abundance of the invasive species.

Congressman Rob Wittman (VA) also recently reintroduced a bill — H.R. 258, the Chesapeake Bay Accountability and Recovery Act — which requires crosscut budget analysis of federal spending on Chesapeake Bay restoration activities, as well as adaptive management within Bay programs.  Companion legislation is being championed in the Senate by Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner of Virginia.

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