Environmental

Mast tells McConnell the Treasure Coast is dying while reservoir languishes in Senate

Mast tells McConnell the Treasure Coast is dying while reservoir languishes in Senate

Mast tells McConnell the Treasure Coast is dying while reservoir languishes in Senate

Mast is Calling for immediate Senate vote on Water Resources Development Act

Bill Already Passed House of Representatives With Bipartisan Support

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately bring up the Water Resources Development Act for a vote.  The bill, which includes authorization for the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir and numerous other Treasure Coast Priorities, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives twice with enormous bipartisan support but has not yet received a vote in the Senate.

“In the community that I represent on the Treasure Coast of Florida, there is an ongoing human health and environmental crisis being caused by the proliferation of harmful algal blooms.  People are getting sick, animals are dying, our environment is being demolished and our economy is withering.  Our community cannot afford to wait any longer for help, which is why it is critical that the Senate act immediately,” Rep. Mast wrote in the letter.  “The bill has broad bipartisan support and our community on the Treasure Coast is literally dying while this bill languishes in the Senate.  Your immediate attention to this life or death issue is appreciated.” 

Timeline of Events

On June 6, 2018, the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act, which included critical provisions written by Rep. Mast, such as a placeholder for authorizing the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir, a provision mandating expedited review of the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule and new authorization for the development of large-scale water filtration technology.  But, from June 6, 2018 until September 10, 2018, the Senate failed to act.

On September 10, 2018 a compromise version of this legislation was announced, supported by Members in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Included in the compromise deal was a bipartisan provision that Rep. Mast wrote with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) to authorize the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir.

On September 13, 2018, the House of Representatives again acted, passing the compromise deal by voice vote, without any opposition.  Since the deal was announced, the Senate has taken votes on only three days—over the course of two weeks—and has not yet voted on S. 3021.

 

Full Text of the Letter

September 20, 2018

 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader

S-230 United States Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Leader McConnell:

In the community that I represent on the Treasure Coast of Florida, there is an ongoing human health and environmental crisis being caused by the proliferation of harmful algal blooms.  People are getting sick, animals are dying, our environment is being demolished and our economy is withering.  Our community cannot afford to wait any longer for help, which is why it is critical that the Senate act immediately to pass S. 3021, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (also known as the Water Resources Development Act).

On June 6, 2018, the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act, which included critical priorities for our community such as a placeholder for authorizing the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir, a provision mandating expedited review of the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule and new authorization for the development of large-scale water filtration technology.  But, from June 6, 2018 until September 10, 2018, the Senate failed to act on this important bill.

Then, we reached a breakthrough on September 10, 2018 when a compromise version of this legislation was announced, supported by Members in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Included in the compromise deal was a bipartisan provision that I helped write with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) to authorize the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir.

On September 13, 2018, the House of Representatives again acted, passing this compromise deal by voice vote, without any opposition.  Alarmingly, however, since the deal was announced, the Senate has taken votes on only three days—over the course of two weeks—and has not yet voted on S. 3021.

Therefore, I am writing to respectfully urge you to call a vote on S. 3021.  The bill has broad bipartisan support and our community on the Treasure Coast is literally dying while this bill languishes in the Senate.  Your immediate attention to this life or death issue is appreciated.

Sincerely,

Brian Mast

Member of Congress

 

 

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