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The Energy and Water Development bill aims to advance water resources projects and mitigate the effects of drought
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development approved fiscal year 2015 funding legislation that totals $34.2 billion in discretionary budget authority, an increase of $148 million above the fiscal year 2014 level and an increase of $525 million above the president’s request level.
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairman of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement:
“The fiscal year 2015 Energy and Water bill focuses on three priorities: advancing water resources projects, mitigating the effects of drought and reducing the threat of nuclear terrorism. The bill restores $600 million to the Corps of Engineers to complete ongoing studies and construction projects that dredge America’s waterways to support the movement of critical commodities and reduce the risk of storm damage from floods and hurricanes. The bill also increases funding available to the Bureau of Reclamation to improve water management in parts of the country facing severe drought. To keep Americans safe, the bill significantly increases nuclear nonproliferation activities to help secure and permanently eliminate the most dangerous nuclear and radiological materials that could be used by terrorists.”
The bill recommends $5.134 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge America’s waterways to support the movement of critical commodities, reduce the impact of natural disasters by focusing on flood control efforts and providing recreation opportunities at campgrounds, lakes and marinas. The bill also provides $1.23 billion for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation to improve the management of water resources for 31 million people in 17 states and mitigate the impact of recent droughts in Western states.
The bill also recommends $28.372 billion for the Department of Energy to develop clean energy technologies that combat climate change while creating U.S. jobs, modernize the nuclear deterrent, secure dangerous nuclear and radiological materials around the world and clean up the country’s Cold War environmental legacy.
The bill recommends $125 million for water resources studies. This amount is $45 million above the administration request and the same as the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount. The recommendation provides for the 10 new study starts that were in the administration’s budget request plus 10 additional studies that are to be chosen by the administration.
The bill recommends $1.421 billion for water resources projects that provide for improvements to navigation, flood risk management and for ecosystem restoration. This amount is $235 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $296 million above the request. The recommendation includes the one new start in the president’s request and provides for five additional new starts to be chosen by the administration. Within the amounts recommended, $60 million above the budget request of $169 million is provided for inland waterways projects.
The bill recommends $305 million for the construction, operation and maintenance of navigation, flood control and ecosystem restoration projects along the Mississippi River and its tributaries from Cairo, Ill., to the mouth of the Mississippi River. This amount is $2 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $60 million above the fiscal year 2015 budget request.
The bill recommends $2.8 billion for operation and maintenance of water resources projects. That is $61 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted amount and $200 million above the fiscal year 2015 request. The recommendation includes over $1.06 billion for eligible activities that are reimbursed by the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.
The bill recommeds $1.07 billion for water and related resources to address water storage and conveyance, power and environmental compliance and restoration activities in the west. Over $100 million is recommended to allow the Bureau of Reclamation to address the exceptional drought conditions that are impacting many parts of the Western U.S.