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Boater beneath dam

Environmentalist have opposed Glen Canyon Dam since the water-storage and hydroelectric project was proposed in the 1940s. 

A bill passed the House of Representatives and Senate to restore the $23 million of the Glen Canyon Dam downstream water monitoring funding, Sept. 13.

News of the bill floated around related parties earlier this week, estimating that a lesser amount of $21.4 million would be restored for the upcoming fiscal year. The current bill will restore all $23 million of the funding.

The new conference bill is titled Energy and Water, Legislative Branch and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019 and includes many other budget items. The Office of Management and Budget previously set a $23 million cut for the Basin Fund that was going to go in effect Oct. 1.

The bill is consider a victory by who were worried about the loss of jobs and research.

According to Marlon Duke, spokesperson for the Bureau of Reclamation, the bureau is happy that they aren’t going to face the previous funding changes.

“We were pleased to see the language that came out of the appropriations committee this week in the conference bill and we’re optimistic to that passing the house and the Senate and being enacted,” Duke said in a voicemail. “The amount of funding in there is everything we need to keep these programs going so that was good news.”

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The fund’s money normally contributes to academic research, the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center and other federal agencies tasked with monitoring the water downstream from the dam.

Congressman Tom O'Halleran sent a letter to the head of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water speaking out against the initial budget announcement.

“I am pleased to see funding included in today’s appropriations bill to protect projects that preserve the water, land, and wildlife near the Grand Canyon and serve communities across Arizona," O'Halleran said in a press release.

The bill is now waiting for President Donald Trump's approval.

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