INL, Research, Water Infrastructure and Ag Projects Included in Year-End Congressional Spending Package
Idaho Senator Larry Craig and Congressman Mike Simpson today highlighted dozens of important agriculture, research, infrastructure, and economic development projects that will be headed to Idaho as part of a year-end spending package being finalized in Washington, DC.
"I'm pleased with the assistance our ag producers will get to mitigate natural disasters and combat pests like the Potato Cyst Nematode," said Craig. "In addition to the help coming to our farmers, our communities and our laboratories benefit from this bill, too. They'll see cleaner drinking water, improved wastewater systems, and cutting edge energy technologies, to name a few. We nearly doubled funding for the Next Generation Nuclear Project (NGNP), and this bill paves the way for Idaho to host yet another first-of-its-kind reactor by 2018."
"The funding included in this bill is critical to a number of Idaho schools, institutions, communities, and citizens," said Simpson. "The Potato Cyst Nematode Eradication funding and the agriculture disaster assistance package will assist our state farmers and ranchers through a difficult year of drought, disease, and wildfire. Idaho National Laboratory will see its current research reactor and future demonstration reactor both receive critical infusions of money. And communities across the state, from Marsing to Rexburg, will see their aging water and wastewater infrastructure improved."
Among the most prominent projects included in the bill were the following:
* $9.6 million for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture's Potato Cyst Nematode Eradication program in Idaho potato fields. This funding is a critical component of State and Federal efforts to assist Idaho farmers in combating Potato Cyst Nematode.
* The bill includes the extension of agriculture disaster programs until December 31, 2007. Eligible programs include the Crop Disaster Program, the Livestock Compensation Program, and the Livestock Indemnity Program. Idaho farmers and ranchers impacted by drought and wildfires are encouraged to contact your local Farm Service Agency office to determine if you qualify for these programs. The Idaho Congressional Delegation had requested these extensions early this year.
* $116 million for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) at the Idaho National Laboratory. The NGNP program will develop an advanced gas reactor that can be used to produce both electricity and process heat for a variety of applications.
* $9.8 million to transition the Idaho National Laboratory's Advanced Test Reactor in a National Scientific User Facility.
* $500,000 for the Auger Falls Wastewater Treatment Project in Twin Falls. This is the third year of funding for the project bringing a total federal investment of $1.6 million. Other communities receiving water project funding include Marsing ($432,000), Hazelton ($469,000), St. Anthony ($562,000), Rexburg ($137,000), and Buhl ($300,000).
* $4,064,000 through the Army Corps of Engineers Section 595 (Rural Idaho) Program will be used to complete work on a municipal wastewater system in Smelterville and continue work on the Eastern Idaho Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Additional Idaho projects supported by Craig or Simpson in the bill include:
* Nez Perce Bio-Control Center $188,000
* Tri-State Predator Control $993,000
* Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station $700,000
* Aquaculture Research at Aberdeen, ID $629,000
* National Plant Germplasm Research at Aberdeen, ID $97,000
* Northwest Center for Small Fruits Research at Corvallis, OR $646,000
* Rainbow Trout Research at Aberdeen, ID $1,094,000
* Potato Enhancement Research at Prosser, WA $288,000
* Sugarbeet Research at Kimberly, ID $703,000
* Sustainable Feeds Research at Aberdeen, ID $99,000
* Viticulture Research at Corvallis, OR $853,000
* Aquaculture Research in ID, WA $567,000
* Barley for Rural Development Research $551,000
* Grass Seed Cropping for Sustainable Agriculture $335,000
* Increasing Shelf Life of Ag Commodities $647,000
* Potato Cyst Nematode Research $375,000
* Potato Research Multi State $1.112 million
* Regional Barley Gene Mapping Program $506,000
* Small Fruits Research ID, OR, WA $329,000
* Wood Utilization Multi-State Program $4.875 million
* Idaho One-Plan $143,000
* Aegilops Cylindrica ID, WA $263,000
* STEEP III Water Quality in the Northwest $476,000
* Greater Yellowstone Interagency Brucellosis Committee $697,000
* Cool Season Legume Research $419,000
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (EDI) FUNDING:
* $100,000 for Custer County for the Custer County Economic Development Initiative
* $350,000 for Renaissance Art Center, Inc in Rupert for renovations to the historic Wilson Theater
* $175,000 for Boys and Girls Club of Magic Valley for construction of a Boys and Girls Club facility in the town of Buhl
* $300,000 for Development Workshop, Inc, Upper Valley Industries Plant Facility, Idaho Falls for planning and design of a new facility to provide job services for people with disabilities
* $300,000 for Western Elmore County Recreation District, Mountain Home Community Center Complex, Mountain Home for planning design and construction of an energy efficient, multi-use community center
The bill will be considered in the U.S. House of Representatives tonight and is on the schedule for the U.S. Senate tomorrow. If passed by both chambers, the legislation will be sent to President Bush for his signature.
Some of these projects may be subjected to small, across-the-board decreases of two percent or less to meet tight budget caps. Please contact Craig's or Simpson's offices for details on any of these initiatives.