Diaz-Balart: Interior Appropriations Bill Protects Everglades, Environment While Removing Bureaucratic Red Tape
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 5538, the Interior and Environment Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2017.
“I’m glad to see this appropriations bill makes an impact here in Southern Florida. The bill included my request of $62.7 million for Everglades National Park ecosystem projects under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP) and park management. Further, this bill fully funds another one of my priorities - the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program (PILT), which are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to non-taxable federal lands within their boundaries. Collier County has a significant amount of federal land and this bill addresses that lost revenue. In fiscal year 2016 alone, Collier County will have received a total of $1.3 million. The Interior and Environment Appropriations bill protects our environment, while removing unnecessary red tape and bureaucratic regulations that are costly and ineffective. By reducing EPA’s budget, funds can be refocused on programs of critical need, such as programs that give states the flexibility they need to implement new environmental standards.
“I want to thank Chairmen Rogers and Calvert for their leadership on getting this bill approved. This bill will mark the fifth appropriations bill passed by the House, and I am proud to join Speaker Ryan and Chairman Rogers in their work to return the House to regular order to pass our spending bills.”