Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19)
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19) today introduced the Ensure Funding For Our Environment Act. This bipartisan bill will provide consistent and reliable federal funding for the Mid-Atlantic River Basin Commissions (RBCs), which protect clean drinking water and improve climate resiliency, flood mitigation, and wildlife protection in Upstate New York. Rep. Molinaro introduced the bill alongside and U.S. Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-6).
The Mid-Atlantic River Basin Commissions, consisting of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC), and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB) manages water sources and serves drinking water to over 24 million residents across 7 states, including New York. They are supposed to receive federal funding through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), but federal funding has failed to be regualry delivered, leaving the RBCs to face significant budgetary shortfalls.
Rep. Molinaro’s bill will address this constant state of uncertainty by changing the source of the funding from the Army Corps to the U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s focus is safeguarding our environment and supplying federal funds to protect our nation’s natural resources. They will prove to be a reliable and consistent source for funding.
Rep. Molinaro said, “For decades, the Delaware River Basin Commission and Susquehanna River Basin Commission, which manage these rivers, have not had a consistent source of federal funding, leading to untenable budgetary shortfalls. Supporting our waterways and protecting access to clean drinking water cannot be optional. By moving the funding source to the EPA, my bipartisan bill provides consistent and reliable funding to ensure clean drinking water is protected and more progress can be made on flood prevention and climate resiliency efforts along the Delaware and Susquehanna River communities.”
Rep. Houlachan said, “I remain committed to the sustainable management of our nation’s water resources, and I’m proud to partner with Rep. Molinaro as we introduce the bipartisan Ensure Funding for Our Environment Act. With a special emphasis on prioritizing the Mid-Atlantic River Basin Commissions, which collectively serve over 24 million residents across 7 states and the District of Columbia, this bill will direct federal resources where they are desperately needed. Despite congressional direction and authorization, these commissions have faced a cumulative federal funding shortfall for years, hampering their vital water resource management efforts. Building on my previous legislative efforts, Congress can rectify this funding deficit and put the Mid-Atlantic River Basin Commissions on a sustainable path for the benefit of our communities and the environment.”
Andrew Dehoff, Executive Director for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission said, “We see great benefit in Representative Molinaro’s proposed bill as it would be a major step in remedying a decades-long challenge in ensuring the federal funding committed to the River Basin Commissions in each legislated compact. Securing the overdue federally-obligated funds, to match consistent partner-state contributions, is crucial for effective river basin management, long-term project planning and continued prudent oversight of our rivers and watersheds into the future.”
Steve Tambini, Executive Director for the Delaware River Basin Commission said, “The DRBC thanks Congressman Molinaro and Congresswoman Houlahan for introducing the Ensure Funding for Our Environment Act. By committing to bipartisan funding solutions for our shared water resources, this bill demonstrates the importance of science-based water management for over 14 million people in communities throughout the Delaware River Basin.”
Rep. Molinaro has prioritized efforts to support the DRBC and SRBC’s efforts to improve climate resiliency, flood mitigation, and wildlife protection for Upstate New York. The bill is also endorsed by the Choose Clean Water Coalition and the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed.