Bill includes enhanced investments for critical infrastructure projects, funding to block Asian Carp from reaching the Great Lakes and resources for Made in Wisconsin research and innovation
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today applauded the inclusion of several of her key priorities in the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, which passed the full Senate this week. The House and Senate will now reconcile their versions of this appropriations bill and send to the President for his signature.
“I was proud to include several priorities in this legislation that work to strengthen our infrastructure, support our manufacturing economy and advance Wisconsin research and innovation that is needed to move our state forward,” said Senator Baldwin. “Our bipartisan efforts support our local economies through ensuring goods can get to market, preventing dangerous invasive species like Asian Carp from entering our Great Lakes, promoting renewable energy that drives innovation, and revitalizing our harbors to support Wisconsin businesses. I’m urging the President to support these key investments that will protect our Great Lakes and grow our Made in Wisconsin economy.”
Preventing Asian Carp from Reaching the Great Lakes
The FY19 Energy and Water Development funding legislation will help address a major threat to Wisconsin’s economy—the threat of Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes. Senator Baldwin secured language calling for the Army Corps of Engineers to finalize the Brandon Road Study, a critical action-plan for keeping Asian Carp from reaching the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes fishery is a $7 billion industry, and this is just one more step in Senator Baldwin’s efforts to press for action to protect this critical resource.
Revitalizing and Repairing Wisconsin Harbors
The legislation provides $6.9 billion to fund the Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, including a $110 million increase in the Corps’ operation and maintenance budget.
For the fifth consecutive year, this appropriations bill meets the spending targets outlined in the bipartisan Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRDA) of 2014 that Senator Baldwin supported. The FY19 Energy and Water Development funding legislation provides $1,528,401,000 for Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund activities.
In Wisconsin, this funding will go toward the following projects:
· $7,540,000 for dredging efforts and repairs at the Duluth-Superior Harbor;
· $4,267,000 for dam repair work at the Fox River;
· $3,920,000 for dredging at the Green Bay Harbor;
· $2,570,000 for dredging and breakwater repairs at the Milwaukee Harbor;
· $829,000 for the Eau Galle River Lake;
· $18,000 for environmental stewardship at Kewaunee Harbor; and
· $6,000 for improvements at the Sturgeon Bay Harbor.
Supporting Upper Mississippi River Restoration Efforts
The Upper Mississippi River floodplain is an economic and environmental anchor in the region, providing sanctuary for a diverse ecosystem and drinking water for half the population living in the watershed. At Senator Baldwin’s request, the bipartisan bill provides $33.17 million for Upper Mississippi River habitat restoration projects in Wisconsin.
Helping Manufacturers Reduce Water Treatment Costs
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is home to the state’s Industrial Assessment Center, which provides technical assistance to manufacturers who want to reduce their energy costs. Senator Baldwin worked to include $40 million for the program, which represents a $10 million increase from FY18. This provision supports this critical tool at UW-Milwaukee, helps manufacturers stay competitive and will address water challenges with innovative new approaches—many of which are being developed in Milwaukee.
Investing in Cutting-Edge Innovation in Off-Road Machinery
Senator Baldwin requested $10 million for the Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct efficiency research in off-road vehicles, including in fluid power systems, also known as hydraulic systems. This DOE research in vehicle research can help save energy, make vehicles more efficient and support our manufacturers to compete with foreign companies by having access to the latest innovations.
Promoting Medical Innovations in Wisconsin
Senator Baldwin successfully led a bipartisan amendment that is included in the FY19 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Bill that would devote $20 million to continue establishing domestic production of a commonly-used medical isotope needed to conduct health procedures, including cancer and heart screenings. The amendment, introduced with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), would support Wisconsin companies like SHINE Medical Technologies in Janesville and NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes in Beloit that are leading the nation in developing a domestic source of this critical medical isotope.
Medical isotopes are critical to American health care, and Wisconsin entrepreneurs are working to deploy a Made in America source of this much-needed diagnostic tool for patients and families. Mo-99 helps 50,000 patients a day in the U.S. by providing early detection and enabling treatment of cancer and heart disease.
Investing in Bioenergy Research and Scientific Advancements
The bipartisan bill continues to invest in research that will yield the next generation of biofuels and bio-based products, prioritizing future growth for Wisconsin’s agriculture economy. Senator Baldwin worked to secure $100 million for Bioenergy Research Centers, which supports the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, biofuels companies, biofuel and bio-based product startups, farmers and agriculture businesses in Wisconsin and across the country.
The FY19 Energy and Water Development funding legislation also includes $375 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency: Energy program to continue long-term investments in early-stage research and innovation that can yield significant scientific advancements.