October 30, 2009


Appropriations Bill Also Includes an Additional $50 million for the Bay

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today praised final Congressional passage of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Conference Report, which will provide $72 million in new funding to improve Maryland's drinking water systems and to help communities finance local sewer improvements. 
The bill also includes $50 million, the largest funding level ever, for programs to control urban, suburban and agricultural runoff in the Chesapeake watershed. The Conference Report - which also includes a Continuing Resolution to fund much of the federal government through December 18 - now goes to the President who is expected to sign it.   
"We must ensure that Marylanders and all Americans have clean and safe drinking water and that we adequately fund much-needed upgrades to our entire water infrastructure," said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Water and Wildlife Subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee. 
Earlier this year, Senator Cardin introduced the Water Infrastructure Financing Act, S. 1005, to increase investment in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. "Final passage of this appropriations measure will help communities meet the goals of the Clean Water Act ." 
"Maryland's communities want to do the right thing by the environment, but they can't do it on their own. That's why I've put money in the federal checkbook that creates jobs, builds communities and takes care of the environment," said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Senate Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the Conference Committee that produced the final funding legislation. "This federal investment in clean and safe water means Maryland's taxpayers and local governments won't have to bear the burden of paying for these important upgrades alone. That's especially critical to communities during these tough economic times."
The Interior-Environment Appropriations Conference Report contains funding for the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Forest Service and other related agencies. The bill contains a total of $10.3 billion to restore and protect our nation's air, water and land, an increase of $2.7 billion over last year's appropriation.