Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler secures funding for dredging and harbor maintenance and Hanford cleanup

Energy and Water Appropriations bill reduces spending and improves water infrastructure

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Washington, July 11, 2014 | comments
Jaime voted with a bipartisan majority of her colleagues late Thursday night to advance a responsible spending bill that secures funding for waterway maintenance on the Pacific Coast and Columbia River, as well as Hanford cleanup.
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Jaime voted with a bipartisan majority of her colleagues late Thursday night to advance a responsible spending bill that secures funding for waterway maintenance on the Pacific Coast and Columbia River, as well as Hanford cleanup.  

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the FY 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, legislation that funds U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Hanford cleanup efforts under the Department of Energy.  As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Jaime helped craft this bill that continues the trend of this year’s appropriations packages to cut spending from previous years, reducing total discretionary funding by $50 million from Fiscal Year 2014 levels. 

Southwest Washington priorities included in this bill:

Funding for dredging and harbor maintenance:

  • $1.1 billion in harbor maintenance from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF). Background: The HMTF was created with the purpose of waterway and port maintenance and is funded by a tax importers pay when using U.S. ports. Historically the fund takes in millions of dollars more each year than is expended.
  • $42 million of the HMTF designated specifically for small ports like Ilwaco, Chinook and many other along the Columbian River.
  • Over $25 million for the mouth of the Columbia River, including critical jetty rehabilitation. 
Funding for Hanford clean-up: The bill restores $25 million not included in the President’s budget toward cleanup projects at the Hanford nuclear site.

“Our region is uniquely positioned on the Pacific Ocean and the Columbian River, and we need to maintain our waterways so that they remain an incredible asset to our economy. The funding in this bill for maintaining ports like Chinook and Ilwaco is essential to growing jobs in our economy, and I’m pleased we’re utilizing the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to keep our waterways operating at full capacity,” said Jaime.

“As we lower spending to meet budget realities, it’s still critically important that we maintain nuclear waste cleanup efforts upriver from our communities,” continued Jaime. “The commitment by our federal government to clean up Hanford should be a non-negotiable, but the president’s budget fell far short of what was needed. I was able to help restore some of that funding, and I’ll continue calling on the Department of Energy to ensure that efforts are efficient and timely.”

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