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House Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2017 Interior and Environment Bill

Legislation Includes Valadao Water Amendment

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Champaign, June 15, 2016 | Anna R Vetter ((202) 815-1685) | comments
The House Appropriation Committee today approved the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill. The legislation includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and various independent and related agencies.
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WASHINGTON, DC – The House Appropriation Committee today approved the Fiscal Year 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill. The legislation includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and various independent and related agencies.

In total, the bill provides $32.095 billion, $64 million below the Fiscal Year 2016 enacted level and $1 billion below the President’s budget request. Included is $480 million to fully fund “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) and $3.9 billion for the Department of the Interior and U.S. Forest Service to prevent and combat devastating wildfires. The bill also includes funding to help address the problem of lead in drinking water across the United States.

During committee markup, member of the House Appropriations Committee, U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) introduced an amendment to include provisions of his water legislation, H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act within the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. The Valadao Water Amendment aims to provide relief to Californians suffering from years of historic drought, exacerbated by excessive federal regulations. The amendment will help provide relief for these communities, and will assist in the capture and delivery of more water to towns and fields. The amendment passed through the House Appropriations Committee by a vote of 31 to 18. The entire FY17 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill was approved by on a vote of 31 to 18 on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) stated, "Today is a substantial step forward in the fight for water.” He continued, “By including portions of my legislation, H.R. 2898, in this appropriations bill, the House is acting once again in the best interest of Californians. I will continue to pursue all available legislative avenues until my constituents have the water they so desperately need.”

Specific California-related provisions include:
  • Delta Pumping Requirements: Reclamation shall pump at -5,000 cfs OMR unless that jeopardizes the long-term survival of the Delta smelt or Chinook salmon
  • First Few Storms Flexibility: Authorizes Reclamation to increase pumping to -7,500 cfs OMR to capture storm water runoff when there is high Delta outflow provided such action does not jeopardize the long-term survival of the Delta smelt or Chinook salmon
  • State Water Project Offset & Water Rights Protections: Ensures that California State Water Project contractors benefit should the State of California revoke its consistency determination under California environmental laws between the SWP and Central Valley Project
  • San Joaquin River Settlement: Prohibits the use of federal funds to implement the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Agreement
  • Instream Flow Purchases: Prohibits the use of federal funds to purchase water to supplement flows in rivers for environmental purposes in basins that have suffered drought.
A summary of the bill can be found here.

The text of the bill can be found here

The text of Congressman Valadao's amendment can be found here

More information on Rep. Valadao's legislation, H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 can be found here.

Congressman David G. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Kings County and portions of Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties.
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Tags: Water

U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao

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