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Rubio Secures Funding for Key Florida Provisions in Appropriations Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which includes key provisions advanced by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that fund critical infrastructure projects administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and advanced research managed by the Department of Energy.
“I joined the Appropriations Committee to ensure the Senate adequately funds the Florida projects in this bill, including the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation, Everglades restoration, and water quality improvement programs in the Keys and Charlotte Harbor,” said Rubio. “More than ever, I am committed to making sure that our state and our nation lead the world in the development of our critical port infrastructure, environmental restoration progress, and advanced energy, computing, and cybersecurity research.”
Rubio provisions in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation: Full funding of the President’s Budget request (Rubio successfully secured the availability of all additional funding necessary to expedite completion of the Dike by 2022 in the disaster supplemental package).
- Everglades Restoration:
- Full funding of the President’s Budget request ($67.5 million) and makes available up to $50 million in additional funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in advancing critical construction for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration project;
- Makes available up to $45 million in additional funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in operating, maintaining, and repairing Everglades restoration infrastructure, including potential reimbursements for federal costs assumed by the South Florida Water Management District and the Seminole Tribe of Florida;
- Recognizes the importance of restoring America’s Everglades and urges the Corps to expedite validation, preconstruction, engineering, and design work for the Central Everglades Planning Project, and to begin construction as soon as practicable to complement the South Florida Water Management District’s efforts.
- Direction to the Corps to ensure accuracy and transparency of budget justifications for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration projects for FY19;
- Support for the Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands project and consideration for the use of reclaimed water to augment the project’s ecosystem restoration benefits to coastal wetlands and Biscayne Bay;
- Support for the Indian River Lagoon-South project and expediting design work on critical reservoirs to collect and clean Lake Okeechobee discharges and local runoff before release into the Indian River Lagoon.
· Funding for Florida Ports and Waterways:
- Makes available up to $500.25 million in additional construction funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in expanding Florida’s coastal and deep draft navigation seaports;
- Provides $1.528 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for the operation and maintenance of America’s infrastructure in support of waterborne trade and commerce, including:
- JAXPORT- $6.56 million
- Port Canaveral- $4.149 million
- Port Everglades- $5.85 million
- Port Manatee- $3.845 million
- PortMiami- $6.07 million + additional Donor Port funding
- Port of Palm Beach- $2.785 million
- Port Panama City- $55,000
- Port Pensacola- $1.39 million
- Port Tampa Bay- $980,000
- Makes available up to $50 million in additional funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in maintaining Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways;
- Makes available up to $50 million in additional funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in maintaining Florida’s inland waterways including the Okeechobee Waterway.
- Beach renourishment: Makes available up to $50 million in additional construction funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in renourishing degraded beaches (Rubio successfully secured the availability of all additional funding necessary to fully renourish all of Florida’s hurricane-impacted beaches in the disaster supplemental package).
- Shoreline Protection: Makes available up to $8 million in additional funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in restoring critical seawall infrastructure including at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach.
- Environmental Infrastructure: Makes available up to $75 million in additional funding for use at the Corps’ discretion in improving wastewater collection and treatment in the Florida Keys and Charlotte County.
- Caño Martin Peña Ecosystem Restoration Project: Encourages the Corps to include appropriate funding in future budget requests to minimize project planning and construction delays of this critical project in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Department of Energy
- Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy: Provides $70 million for marine and hydrokinetic technology research, development, and deployment activities, including not less than $5 million to prioritize infrastructure needs at the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center at Florida Atlantic University and other Marine Renewable Energy Center testing sites.
- Advanced Energy Research: Provides $375 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy to catalyze and support development of transformational energy technologies that ensure the nation’s economic and energy security as well as technological advantage over rival powers like the People’s Republic of China.
- Naval Reactors: Encourages Naval Reactors to work with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to ensure there is a long-term plan that meets the Navy’s needs for high enriched uranium in support of the buildup of the US Navy fleet.
- National Nuclear Security Administration: Directs the National Nuclear Security Administration to continue funding for the recapitalization of the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure, while modernizing and maintaining a safe, secure, and credible nuclear deterrent without the need for underground testing and provides $1.919 million to fund the Life Extension Programs and Major Alterations.
- Cybersecurity: Provides at least $20 million for the establishment of a program that will bring cybersecurity into early stage technology research and development across all Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs.
- Advanced Scientific Computing Research: Provides $980 million for the various Leadership Computing Facilities as well as for Mathematical, Computational, and Computer Sciences Research to support the development of critical tools for advanced computing.
- Advanced Materials: Encourages continued coordination in support of the Department of Energy’s ability to impact the materials development cycle from scientific discovery to technological innovation and deployment.