Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Gary Miller
Date: July 19, 2012
Location: Unknown

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Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California. Let me begin again by thanking Chairman Young and Ranking Member Dicks for their continued leadership on this bill and this very important piece of legislation.

Mr. Chairman, yesterday, Representative Baca and I offered an amendment that directs $10 million from the Defense-Wide Operations and Management account and moves it to the Strategic Environmental Research Program and the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program.

These funds would provide the Research and Development Programs additional resources for competitive grants that allow our communities to provide clean water. It is critical that Congress support DOD efforts to develop innovative solutions that use the best technology available to us for problems like the perchlorate contamination that areas in my district in California deal with.

Perchlorate is a chemical used to produce explosives that, when found in groundwater, can be harmful to women, children, and the elderly. In fact, one-quarter of Inland Empire aquifers, including basins from surrounding counties, contains high concentrations of perchlorate.

Just this week, the U.S. Geological Survey released findings from a statewide assessment of groundwater quality that high levels of perchlorate were discovered in 11 percent of wells and moderate concentrations in 53 percent of wells. That is statewide, Mr. Chairman.

Groundwater contamination and other contamination from former defense sites are becoming increasingly problematic throughout the Nation. Based on those facts, I would like to yield to the chairman for the purpose of entering into a colloquy, with hopes that we can work on this issue in the future.

I yield to the gentleman from Florida.

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