Congressman Thomas J. Rooney

Representing the 17th District of Florida

Rooney Secures Funding for Everglades Restoration, Florida Estuaries

Jun 16, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – The 2016 Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee today includes funding for Everglades Restoration and Florida estuaries requested by U.S. Representative Tom Rooney (FL-17). Rooney, who serves on the Committee, said the bill saves taxpayer money by setting clear priorities, and includes critical provisions to promote American energy production, protect natural resources, and eliminate job-killing regulations.

“Everglades Restoration helps keep Florida beautiful, is critical to our ranches, and helps ensure clean drinking water,” Rooney said. “Getting this funding upfront will help save money in the long run, because restoring wetlands north of Lake Okeechobee is the most cost-effective way to reduce flooding into the Lake and prevent damaging water releases into coastal estuaries.”

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 made by Rep. Rooney:

•    A direction for EPA to expedite and support the development and approval of potential cures and treatments for citrus greening disease.
•    A prohibition on the use of any funds to implement or enforce a new Obama Administration rule that would allow EPA to regulate bodies of water on private property, including ditches and farm ponds. Rooney pledged when the rule was finalized that he would fight to block any funding for the new regulations.
•    $16.8 million for the National Estuary Program, of which $600,000 will go to each of the estuaries of national significance in or near Florida’s 17th Congressional District: Charlotte Harbor, the Indian River Lagoon, and Tampa Bay.
•    $27.5 million for Land Acquisition at the Fish and Wildlife Service, which funds the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area.
•    A prohibition on the use of funds by the EPA or any other agency to regulate the lead content of ammunition or fishing tackle.
•    A limitation on any funds being used to issue new restrictions on hunting, fishing and recreational shooting.

In total, the bill cuts $246 million from 2015 spending levels, including a nine percent cut to EPA’s budget, and is $3 billion below the President’s request.

For a summary of the bill, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394247

For the text of the bill, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-interior.pdf

For the bill report, please visit:
http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-fc-ap-fy2016-ap00-interior.pdf

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