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Meng Secures Provisions Critical to Protecting the Environment and Public Health

Sep 4, 2019
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced today that she secured several provisions critical to protecting the environment. The measures were included across several fiscal year 2020 spending packages that recently passed the House of Representatives. They consist of the following items:
  • $100.7 million for State Department anti-poaching and wildlife trafficking programs.
  • $15 million for the Multinational Species Conservation Fund which allocates grants to projects benefiting elephants, rhinos, great apes, marine turtles, and other priority species in their natural habitats.
  • Directing the Department of Defense to spend $13 million for a nationwide health study of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances, and an additional $5 million for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct a similar health study at non-DOD sites. Those exposed to PFAS can suffer from a variety of negative health impacts. Substances can be found in food packaging, commercial products, drinking water and in the workplace.
  • $295 million for biodiversity programs, of which $43 million is for the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), $19.6 million for U.S. Fishery and Wildlife Service, and $24.5 million for the Andean Amazon.
  • $139.6 million for the Global Environment Facility (GEF). GEF investments include more than 1,000 conservation projects in 155 countries, and it is the largest single financier of forest conservation, including projects that help to combat illegal logging.
  • Urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize regulations that ensure plumbing components are in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, which sets standards and protections to ensure that drinking water is safe.
Meng was also proud to have supported federal spending investments in other initiatives aimed at protecting and preserving the environment including:
  • $5.49 billion for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address important priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms, and fisheries management.
  • $10.5 million for United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • $15 million for the health impacts of climate change at the Centers for Disease Control.
  • $3.56 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Climate-Related Activities. Through research in physics, biology, chemistry, and other science disciplines, these activities expand scientific understanding and secure the nation’s leadership in energy innovation.
  • $2.65 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by supporting clean, affordable, and secure energy, and to ensure American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy.
  • Removing the prohibition on the Green Climate Fund from the fiscal year 2019 enacted spending bill and replacing it with permissive authority; prohibiting the use of funds to withdraw from the Paris Agreement; and new report language acknowledging that climate change is a threat to national security and directing the Secretary of State to submit a report on the State Department’s efforts in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.
In addition to the above items, Meng this past May authored an amendment that passed the House as part of the Climate Action Now Act (H.R. 9) which stresses the critical link between climate change and food security. She also sent a letter to President Trump two weeks ago urging him to make the Amazon wildfires a top priority at the G7 Summit.
“Protecting our environment at home and abroad is critical to the future of our planet and our humanity,” said Meng. “I am pleased that I was able to include a number of items in the House-passed spending bills. These provisions will help strengthen current environmental and conservation programs, protect biodiversity, and help provide policymakers with a better understanding of the effects that toxic substances have on people and the environment. I look forward to these measures being signed into law.”
The provisions Meng secured and supported were included in several different appropriations bills including Labor, Health and Human Services and Education; Defense; Interior; State and Foreign Operations; Commerce, Justice, Science; and Energy and Water.