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Congressman Higgins Votes to Approve Energy Bill Investing Over $3.7 Million in Western New York

Jul 20, 2009
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 3183, the Energy-Water Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2010 including long term energy and water infrastructure investments in Western New York.

“Through capitalizing on the natural resources of Western New York, we are able to have long term, clean energy jobs,” said Congressman Higgins.  “This bill empowers Western New York to continue on an alternative energy solutions path making our country more environmentally responsible and more economically robust, while freeing us from the international oil tyrannies.”

This legislation secures a total of $33.3 billion to address essential national energy infrastructure needs and policies.  The funding will go towards investments in new technologies, scientific research, and conservation efforts. 

The Army Corps of Engineers received $5.5 billion for water resource investments including three critical projects in Western New York which received over $3.7 million in funding:

• $1,925,000 for the Buffalo Harbor to help continue the economic development of Buffalo and the waterfront by cleaning up sediment and repairing severely deteriorated sections of the south breakwater

• $1,503,000 the Black Rock Channel and Tonawanda Harbor to maintain this waterway by allowing operating and guard gate repairs, Bird Island Pier repairs, and maintenance dredging.

• $350,000 for the Buffalo River Environmental Dredging to remove and remediate contaminated sediment in the Buffalo River impaired by past municipal and industrial discharges and heavy industrial development along its banks. 

“Western New York’s access to fresh water is one of our greatest assets.  Keeping our waterways clean and passable is not only important to our environment but essential to our local economy.  The local investments will help support companies that rely on freighters for shipments, draw tourists coming from Canada and other areas to our region, and encourage new opportunities for economic development along the water’s edge,” said Congressman Higgins.

The Department of Energy received the majority of the funds with $26.9 billion for energy, science, environmental clean-up and nuclear non-proliferation and national security.  Energy projects received over $2.45 billion which includes efficiency, renewable solutions, delivery, and reliability.  For solar energy, $259 million will be for research, development, and demonstration projects to make solar energy more affordable.  For insulation and energy conservation measures $220 million will go towards reducing utility bills for low-income families.

In addition, the bill provides $237.5 million for non-defense environmental clean-up, of which $58 million is designated for solid waste stabilization and disposition and nuclear facility decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

The Department of Interior received the remaining $1.1 billion to strengthen and improve the nation’s water infrastructure.