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St. Croix River Crossing Project Authorization Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLT. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, you heard from Representative McCollum as to the dimensions of this, as to how close it is to an existing large bridge, as to why this is really a boondoggle. I wanted to talk about how this fits in the national picture of wild and scenic rivers.

This bill would for the first time waive the requirements of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which is a law that has protected the lower St. Croix for nearly 30 years and that protects 12,000 miles of rivers in 38 States and Puerto Rico, including the Delaware River in my home State of New Jersey. These are special rivers designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers law.

When the Resources Committee marked up the legislation before us now, I offered a simple amendment. My amendment would have ensured that any bridge authorized under this bill be designed and located in a way to minimize the direct and inverse environmental effect. It was defeated.

This is really a bridge too far. It's far too large, it is just, you know, far too expensive. Should Congress pass this bill and waive the Wild and Scenic Rivers protection, it's hard to imagine any future bridge project that won't receive a waiver like this issued by Congress.


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