Rooney Caps Off Decade in Congress Fighting for Everglades Restoration and Florida Environment
Washington, DC – The Everglades and Florida estuaries will continue to receive funds needed for preservation and protection as a result of Congressman Thomas J. Rooney’s efforts on the House Appropriations Committee's 2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill.
“Restoring the Everglades is an important effort to preserve our environment and keep Florida beautiful,” Rooney said. “The last decade has been challenging for Florida’s environment, to say the least, but this money will go a long way in making sure we are doing all we can to protect our natural resources at home.”
Rooney, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, successfully secured over $671 million for programs and funds to protect Florida’s natural resources in this year’s bill, capping off a decade of commitment to Florida’s environmental issues and eliminating burdensome regulations in Congress.
“This funding isn’t just important for our natural resources but it’s also beneficial to our taxpayers as well,” Rooney said. “Instead of stuffing the pockets of Washington regulators, this funding benefits those in our communities who work in and appreciate our environment every day.”
The bill, which funds the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Forest Service, Indian Health Service and various related agencies, includes the following funding and language requests from Rooney:
- $360 million to support the Land and Water Conservation Fund conservation easements and land acquisitions
- $157 million for ecosystem programs under the U.S. Geological Survey, including those in the Everglades
- Nearly $92 million for the National Water Quality Program, with no less than $2.8 million for harmful algal blooms
- $75 million for the Environmental Protection Agency, Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program Account, which replaces aging infrastructure and protects groundwater flowing from local streams to estuaries
- Nearly $48 million for programs designed to improve water ecosystems, including the National Estuary Program, which supports three estuaries in South Florida – Charlotte Harbor, the Indian River Lagoon and Tampa Bay
- Prohibition on the use of funds by the EPA or any other agency to regulate the lead content of ammunition or fishing tackle
- Direction for EPA to expedite and support development and approval of potential cures and treatments for citrus greening disease
- Limitation on funds being used to issue new restrictions on hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.
In total, the bill provides over $35 billion in funding, equal to the Fiscal Year 2018 level. The bill funds EPA at nearly $8 billion, $100 million below the Fiscal Year 2018 level, reducing the agency’s regulatory programs by $228 million.