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Public Statements

Authorizing National Environmental Research Parks

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise today in support of H.R. 2729 to authorize the designation of National Environmental Research Parks by the Secretary of Energy, and for other purposes.

H.R. 2729, introduced by the gentleman from New Mexico (Mr. Luján), authorizes six existing parks that are located within major eco-regions of the United States. These eco-regions cover more than half of the Nation. In some cases the research parks are the only ecological sanctuaries in the entire region. The parks provide secure settings for scientists to conduct research on a broad range of subjects, such as plant succession, biomass production, environmental behavior of radionuclides, cost and effectiveness of revegetation of disturbed lands, and thermal effects on freshwater ecosystems. The parks also provide rich environments for training researchers and introducing the public to ecological sciences.

The parks have been around in concept since 1969 and in reality, actually, since 1972, when the Atomic Energy Commission, the predecessor to the Department of Energy, established its first research park at the Savannah River site in South Carolina.

Under this bill, the Parks will continue to serve their intended purpose, but will now be able to do so under their own authorization.

Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Luján for his work on this bill, and also the work of his staff.

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