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Vitter Summary Statement for Full Committee Business Meeting
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works “Full Committee Business Meeting”
April 3, 2014

Thank you Chairman Boxer for convening today's markup, and thank you members of this committee for the bipartisan efforts on a majority of the legislation before us today.

Some of the bipartisan work we will move out of committee today is the culmination of a lot of member and staff time to find agreement on important environmental issues. It is encouraging to be reminded that such achievements are possible, even on a committee that oftentimes has major disagreements on some issues - particularly environmental policy. Today we have a number of good bipartisan bills designed to protect our national estuaries, fish and marine habitat, and our water supplies, and to enhance our brownfields program, which helps communities across the country redevelop contaminated or potentially contaminated properties.

One of these bills is the Clean Estuaries Act of 2014. I appreciate Senator Whitehouse's leadership on this legislation, as well as his working with me on this issue over the past several years. Our amendment to the Clean Estuaries Act will provide further certainty that funds allocated under the National Estuary Program are devoted directly to protection and restoration efforts. Again, I thank Senator Whitehouse for working constructively with me to develop our amendment.

Additionally, Senator Boxer will be offering an amendment today to Senator Manchin's Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014. I would like to recognize Chairman Boxer and her staff for working through many late hours over the last week to develop this amendment in coordination with me and my staff. We have worked very closely on today's amendment, and I want to thank both Senators Boxer and Manchin for their leadership on this issue. We have made significant progress on this bill in a short period of time, and I hope that as we move this forward we can continue to work together, along with a wide array of stakeholders, to make any necessary improvements and ensure that this bill creates a workable framework, not only for industry, but more importantly, for the states. I am pleased to be supporting Senator Boxer's amendment and passage of the amended Manchin bill today in committee.

These, and other bipartisan efforts on today's schedule, are important steps for our environment and advancing legislation in the interest of our nation. Thank you.

 

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