Bustos Strengthens Waterways in Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

With Critical Bustos Provisions Included, Energy & Water Appropriations Bill Heads to House Floor for Final Passage

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) helped pass a comprehensive Energy and Water funding bill out of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. This piece of legislation will now head to the House floor for final passage. Congresswoman Bustos successfully secured provisions in this legislation designed to strengthen our locks and dams along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, increase flooding preparation, promote energy efficiency and ensure government productivity.

“A strong and modern water infrastructure is critical so the hardworking family farmers of our region – as well as our manufacturers and other businesses – have a place to move their goods to market,” said Congresswoman Bustos, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. “As we invest in the infrastructure of our nation, we cannot overlook the importance of having up-to-date locks and dams and a reliable waterway system. These improvements are crucial to having economic success in the Heartland, and I’m proud to support today’s legislation to bring these investments home.” 

BACKGROUND

Investing in our region’s water infrastructure has been among Congresswoman Bustos’ top priorities since being elected to Congress. In today’s legislation, Congresswoman Bustos fought to include language that urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Rock Island District to begin preconstruction engineering and design for the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) following the completion of a new economic study. NESP is a program focused on navigation improvement and ecological restoration to contribute to the economic and environmental success of the Upper Mississippi River System. Early this month, Congresswoman Bustos testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where she laid out Illinois’ priorities and stressed the importance of funding NESP since more than 600 million tons of goods are shipped through our inland waterway system annually. Additionally, Congresswoman Bustos fought for those living along our waterways to be prepared for severe weather, which is why she also supported an increase of $2.5 million of funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s flood control and coastal emergencies account. This increase would go toward disaster preparedness, emergency operations, protection or repair of federal projects, advance measures and provisions of emergency water due to drought or contamination.

Congresswoman Bustos also included language for $10 million in support of the Vehicle Technologies Program, which falls under the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office and promotes research into energy efficiency in off-road vehicles like industrial and farming equipment. The bill includes her request that half of those funds be directed towards the study of fluid power systems, which could lead to cost-savings for producers across Illinois.

Other priorities of Congresswoman Bustos that were funded in the bill include:

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS – In total, this bill provides $7.36 billion in funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, which constructs vital projects along our waterways – including our locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR/BUREAU OF RECLAMATION – $1.65 billion are appropriated for the Department of the Interior, while $1.63 billion are provided for the Bureau of Reclamation, which oversees water infrastructure and rural water projects.

DEPARTMENT OF ENGERGY – This legislation increases funding for the Department of Energy by $1.4 billion from fiscal year 2019 to a total of $37.1 billion.

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISION – A net appropriation of $130 million are also set aside to fund the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which ensures the safe use of nuclear reactors and radioactive materials.

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