-- Today, Congressman Sires supported the Conference Report for H.R. 2996, the fiscal year 2010 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which passed the House by a vote of 247 to 178. This bill makes a number of key investments in clean air grants and clean drinking water programs, such as $1.38 billion for low-interest loans to help local communities improve their drinking water systems, $10 million for new grants to encourage local communities to find ways to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, and $605 million to clean up toxic waste sites.
"These funds are critical to improving environmental infrastructure in New Jersey's 13th District," said Congressman Sires. "Several of these programs were severely underfunded in the last administration, and this year's increased funding will allow New Jersey to address aging infrastructure to improve water and air quality in the state."
The bill also includes funding for other programs that are significant to New Jersey. H.R. 2996 provides $157 million for sewer and water grants to local communities -- a program that is highly valued by many communities in New Jersey. Additionally, funding was included for the evaluation and cleanup of "brownfields," which provides $100 million to turn former industrial and commercial sites from problem properties to productive community use.
A Continuing Resolution (CR) was attached to H.R. 2996 in order to continue funding for government operations through December 18, 2009.