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Public Statements

Emergency Watershed Protection Program

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. BENNET. Madam President, I see no colleagues have come to the floor, so I want to speak on one additional topic. I will be brief, because I understand we likely won't have an opportunity to address this issue before we leave town.

My colleague Senator Mark Udall and I have been working to provide resources for the USDA's Emergency Watershed Protection Program, also known as EWP. The reason we have been doing this is that EWP resources help communities recover from wildfires, specifically watersheds that, after being burned, are unstable and risk harm to critical drinking water infrastructure and sometimes jeopardize human lives.

As many in this Chamber know, we had a number of devastating wildfires in Colorado this summer. In the communities of Fort Collins and Colorado Springs in particular, they are having trouble protecting their vital drinking water infrastructure as their watersheds recover. Despite a letter Senator Udall and I authored to the appropriators, the House version of the continuing resolution did not contain this critical funding. That means the Senate won't be able to vote to help these communities recover. And while we are disappointed, we are going to continue to fight for these resources.

With that, Madam President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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