ROSKAM AND KIRK FUNDING THE EMERALD ASH BORER FIGHT
Congressmen Introduce Bill to Assist Local Communities Addressing EAB
Washington, Oct 19 - Congressman Peter J. Roskam (R-IL) and Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) yesterday introduced the Emerald Ash Borer Municipality Assistance Act of 2007 to establish a revolving loan fund to help local communities address the spread of the devastating Emerald Ash Borer in Northern Illinois.
"The Emerald Ash Borer has been positively identified in Glendale Heights, so the threat is real in the Sixth Congressional District. Our local communities must have resources available to remove and prevent the spread of this pest," said Roskam. "For example, one in six trees are threatened in Mount Prospect, with a projected cost upwards of three million dollars to deal with this problem. It is my hope that Congress will act quickly to make this assistance available as soon as possible. Here there is a great opportunity for the federal and local governments to work together for the benefit of our communities."
"The Emerald Ash Borer is the single greatest invasive species threat in the Chicago area," Congressman Kirk said. "Already, the beetle has destroyed more than 20 million trees since 2002. The Emerald Ash Borer Municipality Assistance Act of 2007 will provide local governments with a loan fund to help remove, dispose and replace ash trees afflicted by the pest. This bill will help those communities that struggle with the economic demands of combating the Emerald Ash Borer."
Specifically, the Fund will be used to provide low cost loans to local governments to finance purchases of equipment to monitor, remove, dispose of, and replace infested trees. The loans, payable over a 20-year period, will provide as much as five million dollars at an interest rate of two percent.
"This legislation will provide much-needed assistance, enabling local efforts to use all the best tools to maintain our tree-rich environment," continued Roskam.