4:42 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:42 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:42 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:42 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:42 PM EDT

Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD 1st

Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would reduce the Corps of Engineer's General Investigation Account by $100,000, the amount provided to continue the study to deepen the C&D Canal in my district.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to inform the Members that this is a project that has been ongoing for most of the 1990s. And in 1996, in a meeting I had at the Corps of Engineers headquarters in Washington, with the Philadelphia Corps in my district in Chestertown, Maryland, we went over all of the numbers, the math and came to a very, very clear determination that the benefit-to-cost ration on this particular project in Maryland did not meet the threshold in order to be funded by the Federal Government

because there was no benefit to the taxpayers.

It is 4 years later. Every year since 1996, the Philadelphia district has come up with a benefit-to-cost ratio. Under scrutiny from the headquarters in Washington, it has always failed muster. We are not going to close the C&D Canal, there will be no decrease in commerce, but there is two things that we have seen very clearly, that to continue studying this issue that the Corps of Engineers has not been able to justify for most of the 1990s is a waste of the taxpayers dollars, so therefore we

would like to cut $100,000 from any more study in this particular area.

It does not reduce commerce in the C&D Canal. I want to make that very clear, that is in the Corps' own document. The Corps says if we deepen it, there will be no increase in commerce to the Port of Baltimore. The Port of Baltimore has a 50-foot deep channel right now to the Port down the Bay out into the ocean. It is not a matter of not being able to accommodate the number of ships that are necessary.

In these studies, if we looked at it from an environmental perspective, deepening the canal will bring in more salty, polluted water from the Delaware River, into the sensitive spawning areas in the upper Chesapeake Bay.

[Time: 16:45]

But even more interesting than that, the environmental study has not been concluded. Even though the Washington Corps asked it to go along with the feasibility study, the Philadelphia district did not do that. But there is something that we found out just a few months ago, which was rather astounding, in the study to determine whether there was going to be a change of water flow from the Delaware River or from the Chesapeake Bay.

There is an organization in the Corps in Mississippi called the Water Environmental Studies, or WES. WES gave to the State of Delaware an environmental water flow study that showed the water flowing from Delaware to Maryland, and then WES gave a study to Maryland showing that the water, as a result of the deepening, would go from the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware River. When we confronted them with this rather minor conflict, they said, well, we have to redo the study.

Mr. Chairman, one other comment about the environmental aspect of this. The northern route, which is not necessary to increase commerce by deepening it, if it is deepened, will result in 18 million cubic yards of dredge material being dumped overboard into the Chesapeake Bay. Now, to use the Corps' own words, what does that mean as far as nutrients are concerned, and nutrients is really another word for pollution. By dumping 18 million cubic yards of dredge material directly into the Chesapeake

Bay, a stone's throw north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, it means the equivalent of adding a sewage treatment plant the size of the City of Annapolis, dumping in an uncontrolled amount of 2 million pounds of ammonia, some people call that nitrogen, they are the same thing, and 700,000 pounds of phosphorous.

Now, the average farmer in my congressional district is taking great pains to reduce the amount of silt or nutrients that they let into the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries. A homeowner, if he wants to build a driveway has to put up a silt fence. The whole State of Maryland is going to great lengths to try to figure out how they can reduce the number of nutrients going into the Chesapeake Bay. All we want to do with this amendment, Mr. Chairman, is because the Corps has not been able to, in

the decade of the 1990s, financially justify to the taxpayers of the United States this project and time and time and time again, every time it came up for scrutiny, the project was not justified, we want to save the taxpayers' dollars and cut $100,000 from this study.

4:48 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:48 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:48 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:48 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:53 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Chairman, the argument as to where to dump the spoil will have to be debated at some point in time. I would suggest to my friend, for whom I have a great deal of respect, that now is not the time to join it. I know the gentleman wants to stop this project and other projects; the gentleman has had, presumably, a change of heart since the 1996 letter, but we have moved ahead as a united delegation on this. I cannot speak for our two colleagues in the Senate, but I know they support

this project as well.

Mr. Chairman, I would urge my colleagues in the Congress to reject this amendment and not stop the study from being completed. We will argue the issue of dredging at some later time.

4:54 PM EDT

Sherwood L. Boehlert, R-NY 23rd

Mr. BOEHLERT. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Gilchrest amendment. I hate to see time limited on a discussion of this very important amendment. I am supporting the amendment because I think the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST) has made a compelling case in support of his amendment. This is his congressional district. I do not think there is anyone in this Chamber that knows more about this project than the gentleman from Maryland.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to hear more from him about the amendment, so I yield to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST) at this time.

4:54 PM EDT

Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD 1st

Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

We do many things up here as Members of Congress that cause us to take awhile to begin to investigate and look deeper into a particular process. I certainly would like to continue the work in harmony with the Maryland delegation on numerous other projects. However, having spent literally years looking into the details of this particular issue, I have come full circle in realizing that not only is this project bad environmentally, not only because of the dredge material and where it is going to

be disposed of, but because of the ground water and the aquifers when we deepen this canal and the problems that that will cause.

Also, the reason the cost-benefit analysis, the reason we are here today, and the feasibility study did not go through in December of 1996 was because we are spending money, Federal taxpayers' dollars, and we are getting no benefit. The argument that the Port of Baltimore desperately needs this goes counter to the records of the Corps of Engineers' evaluation that there will be no increase in commerce as a result of the deepening. Not only will there be no increase in commerce, there has been

a steady decline of container cargo moving through the canal over the past 4 or 5 or 6 years.

Mr. Chairman, most of the ships, 60 percent of the ships that can use the C&D Canal right now choose not to use it. Why do they choose not to use the C&D Canal if it is available to them right now? Well, number one, it saves them no time. Going through the canal saves no time as opposed to going around Cape Henry and up the Chesapeake Bay. Number two, it costs more to use the C&D Canal as opposed to going around through the Chesapeake Bay where there is a 50-foot deep channel. It costs more because

of the pilotage fees. The third reason many captains on board these ships choose not to use the C&D Canal, whether it is deeper or not, is that it is a narrow channel and they simply prefer the wide expanse of the Chesapeake Bay than moving through the narrow channel.

Now, I want to urge my colleagues to vote for this amendment because the Port of Baltimore is not at risk. No one will lose any jobs as a result of this measure. We are not closing the C&D Canal; it will remain open. Marsk and Sealand, if that issue comes up with their huge ships, could never, under any circumstances, no matter how deep it is, use the C&D Canal.

The C&D Canal is a vital link for commerce. It is used by ships that have roll-on, roll-off trucks and tractors; it is used by bulk cargo; it is used by any one of a number of ships. The deepening of the C&D Canal is simply not necessary.

Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to vote for fiscal responsibility. Here is the interesting thing: this project, since it has been turned down by Corps' headquarters time after time because it does not meet the cost-benefit analysis, this project is probably never going to be approved by the Corps of [Page: H5229]

Engineers through their own process, so there is no need to spend $100,000 again for a new study.

5:02 PM EDT

Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD 1st

Mr. GILCHREST. I thank the gentleman from Michigan for yielding to me.

Mr. Chairman, there are two other Republican Members in the Maryland delegation at this time that, as a result of new information, also now oppose this particular amendment.

I would like to say that this entire project is in my congressional district, which gives me plenty of time when I go home to look into the details of the process. I am not about to insult the Corps of Engineers, I am not about to insult anybody. But we as Members of Congress have the responsibility of oversight of all Federal agencies. When we see some peculiar numbers in Federal agencies that are not correct, we investigate. That is what we have done.

So the cost-benefit analysis in 1996, no; it was redone in 1997 and it was turned down; it was redone in 1998 and turned down by the Washington Corps; and it was redone in 1999 and also turned down. That is one of the oversight responsibilities that we have.

We are not stopping maintenance of these channels to the Port of Baltimore. None of the maintenance will be stopped. The Corps says, and other agencies, but the Corps, who we are talking about here now, their numbers show, and we have checked them out, that there will be no jobs lost in the Port of Baltimore if we do not deepen the C&D Canal because there will be no commerce lost in the C&D Canal if it is not deepened because more than half, 60 to 70 percent of the ships that use that canal right

now, with plenty of draft, choose not to use it.

Mr. Chairman, let us go back to the Corps of Engineers. Why should we have oversight of the Corps of Engineers? One of my colleagues mentioned that I was concerned about where the dredge material is dumped. Yes, I am concerned about where the dredge material is dumped, because there is a little community in Cecil County, in the northern part of my district. No one in that community, no one in that town, can drink their water now. They all have wells and they cannot drink the water because the

Maryland Department of the Environment says the dredge disposal site is leaching acid into the groundwater so they cannot drink their water.

What does the Corps of Engineers say after the Maryland Department of the Environment says that any elementary school child that looked at the analysis of that dredge disposal site would say, yes, that is causing acidity in the ground water, so those people cannot drink their water?

What does the Corps say to that? ``It is not our fault. We do not think that dredge disposal site is causing that problem.'' So what did the Maryland Department of the Environment say to the Corps of Engineers? You cannot dump that material here anymore. Should we have oversight of what the Corps does? Absolutely, yes.

Now, there is another dredge disposal site a little further up the C&D Canal that we investigated, and we have found that the Corps did not put enough lime in the layers of that disposal site, either, so that is leaching acidity into the water of the C&D Canal, which has an impact on the fish.

The other thing, the Corps, when they finally finished with that dredge disposal site, they put material on the top of that from sewage treatment plants. Well, there is some question about that. But if we deal with that correctly, and when we dump sludge from sewage treatment plants, there are a lot of heavy metals in that sludge.

We found out that after they dumped the sludge on that dredge disposal site, they did not do anything to it. Half of the heavy metals from that sludge dumping leached into the C&D Canal where my constituents catch and eat fish. If we look on the Delaware side, Delaware has said, do not eat any fish in the C&D Canal.

So is it our responsibility to have oversight over the Corps of Engineers and uncover some of these things. Whether they are innocent mistakes, whether it is incompetence, it is our responsibility as elected officials to conduct that oversight.

One other thing with the Corps of Engineers. We have great respect for the [Page: H5230]

Corps of Engineers because they do good work. But when there is a problem, I think we should deal with that problem. When they deepened the canal the last time more than 25 years ago, they cut the line, the sewer line.

If we look at the C&D Canal, there is a little town there called Chesapeake City. Chesapeake City is divided by the C&D Canal. When they deepened the project the last time, Chesapeake City had one sewage treatment plant and one drinking water plant. Well, they cut those lines. Now, almost 30 years later, the Corps has never compensated that little town. That little town had to build another sewage treatment system. The people in that little town pay high rent for that.

I urge support for the amendment.

5:02 PM EDT

Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD 1st

Mr. GILCHREST. I thank the gentleman from Michigan for yielding to me.

Mr. Chairman, there are two other Republican Members in the Maryland delegation at this time that, as a result of new information, also now oppose this particular amendment.

I would like to say that this entire project is in my congressional district, which gives me plenty of time when I go home to look into the details of the process. I am not about to insult the Corps of Engineers, I am not about to insult anybody. But we as Members of Congress have the responsibility of oversight of all Federal agencies. When we see some peculiar numbers in Federal agencies that are not correct, we investigate. That is what we have done.

So the cost-benefit analysis in 1996, no; it was redone in 1997 and it was turned down; it was redone in 1998 and turned down by the Washington Corps; and it was redone in 1999 and also turned down. That is one of the oversight responsibilities that we have.

We are not stopping maintenance of these channels to the Port of Baltimore. None of the maintenance will be stopped. The Corps says, and other agencies, but the Corps, who we are talking about here now, their numbers show, and we have checked them out, that there will be no jobs lost in the Port of Baltimore if we do not deepen the C&D Canal because there will be no commerce lost in the C&D Canal if it is not deepened because more than half, 60 to 70 percent of the ships that use that canal right

now, with plenty of draft, choose not to use it.

Mr. Chairman, let us go back to the Corps of Engineers. Why should we have oversight of the Corps of Engineers? One of my colleagues mentioned that I was concerned about where the dredge material is dumped. Yes, I am concerned about where the dredge material is dumped, because there is a little community in Cecil County, in the northern part of my district. No one in that community, no one in that town, can drink their water now. They all have wells and they cannot drink the water because the

Maryland Department of the Environment says the dredge disposal site is leaching acid into the groundwater so they cannot drink their water.

What does the Corps of Engineers say after the Maryland Department of the Environment says that any elementary school child that looked at the analysis of that dredge disposal site would say, yes, that is causing acidity in the ground water, so those people cannot drink their water?

What does the Corps say to that? ``It is not our fault. We do not think that dredge disposal site is causing that problem.'' So what did the Maryland Department of the Environment say to the Corps of Engineers? You cannot dump that material here anymore. Should we have oversight of what the Corps does? Absolutely, yes.

Now, there is another dredge disposal site a little further up the C&D Canal that we investigated, and we have found that the Corps did not put enough lime in the layers of that disposal site, either, so that is leaching acidity into the water of the C&D Canal, which has an impact on the fish.

The other thing, the Corps, when they finally finished with that dredge disposal site, they put material on the top of that from sewage treatment plants. Well, there is some question about that. But if we deal with that correctly, and when we dump sludge from sewage treatment plants, there are a lot of heavy metals in that sludge.

We found out that after they dumped the sludge on that dredge disposal site, they did not do anything to it. Half of the heavy metals from that sludge dumping leached into the C&D Canal where my constituents catch and eat fish. If we look on the Delaware side, Delaware has said, do not eat any fish in the C&D Canal.

So is it our responsibility to have oversight over the Corps of Engineers and uncover some of these things. Whether they are innocent mistakes, whether it is incompetence, it is our responsibility as elected officials to conduct that oversight.

One other thing with the Corps of Engineers. We have great respect for the [Page: H5230]

Corps of Engineers because they do good work. But when there is a problem, I think we should deal with that problem. When they deepened the canal the last time more than 25 years ago, they cut the line, the sewer line.

If we look at the C&D Canal, there is a little town there called Chesapeake City. Chesapeake City is divided by the C&D Canal. When they deepened the project the last time, Chesapeake City had one sewage treatment plant and one drinking water plant. Well, they cut those lines. Now, almost 30 years later, the Corps has never compensated that little town. That little town had to build another sewage treatment system. The people in that little town pay high rent for that.

I urge support for the amendment.

5:08 PM EDT

Elijah Cummings, D-MD 7th

Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words in opposition to the amendment.

Mr. Chairman, as I sit here and I listen to the discussion, it just reminds me of why we need to study. My good friend, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), who I have the utmost respect for, and I know that this is a major, major issue for him, has stated a number of things just now. I do respect what he has said.

He has talked quite extensively about the Corps of Engineers. But one of the things that he said just a moment ago is that the Corps does a good job. It is one of the last things he said. The fact is that the Corps should be allowed to continue its work with regard to this matter.

I think the gentlemen from Maryland, Mr. CARDIN and Mr. HOYER, laid it out quite succinctly. While this may be an issue, and the issue arises out of the district of the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), it affects all of us in one way or another. That is why we all joined together not very long ago asking for the study, so we could move forward in a way that was very careful, in a way that we felt was prudent.

Of course, our good friend, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), joined us on that occasion. We want to thank him for doing that. But there is something that is very important to all of us. That is, and we agree with the gentleman on the point that we want our tax dollars to be spent in a cost-efficient and effective manner, a cost-efficient and effective manner. We are talking about $100,000 here. We are talking about a study. We are not talking about the end result, we are talking

about a study.

We have been going back and forth here about what the study may show. The gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST) just spent the majority of the time that he just spent talking about the end result as far as the sludge material, where it would go. We are not at that point right now. I just think, in fairness to all of us from the State of Maryland, that we should be allowed to proceed with the study that all of us asked for.

Some people may have changed their minds since then, Mr. Chairman, but the fact is that we have asked for this. I think we should proceed so that whatever we do, it is based upon some good, sound knowledge.

I do not think that one day the Corps of Engineers are some of the worst people in the world and the next day they do good work. The fact is that I think we have all depended on them throughout these United States, and we have relied on them extensively. I would hope that we would let this study proceed.

5:11 PM EDT

Robert Andrews, D-NJ 1st

Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), and in respect to my colleagues from Maryland, who will be the experts in dealing with the Maryland problem, but I rise in support of the principle that we all have an obligation and responsibility to defend the interests of our own district. I have great respect for my friend, the gentleman from Maryland, who is doing that I think very eloquently.

Mr. Chairman, I yield to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST).

5:11 PM EDT

Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD 1st

Mr. GILCHREST. I thank the gentleman from New Jersey for yielding to me, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, my colleague, the gentleman from Baltimore, Maryland (Mr. CUMMINGS), made some good comments about the importance of research and study. But I feel there is a point at which the study finally does come to an end, because it cannot be proven.

For example, the cost-benefit analysis which justifies the Corps continuing the project must show that there is a benefit to the taxpayers of the United States. It did not show that in 1996. The cost-benefit analysis failed the Corps' own scrutiny in 1996. It failed the Corps' scrutiny in 1997. It failed again in 1998. It failed again in the spring of 1999.

The Corps has spent hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars studying this issue. When do we say, there is no benefit to the taxpayers, no benefit to the Port of Baltimore, and the study comes to an end? I would say that that point of time is now.

5:13 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, we do not have a dog in this fight. This is a squabble within the Maryland delegation. However, generally we as a committee like to finish projects that have been started.

The project does meet the cost-sharing responsibilities. That is economically favorable. It has been authorized. Under those conditions, we generally like to see the project funded. It is funded at the level that the administration has requested. I would hope that the debate can conclude and that we can move on and have a vote on this.

5:13 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, we do not have a dog in this fight. This is a squabble within the Maryland delegation. However, generally we as a committee like to finish projects that have been started.

The project does meet the cost-sharing responsibilities. That is economically favorable. It has been authorized. Under those conditions, we generally like to see the project funded. It is funded at the level that the administration has requested. I would hope that the debate can conclude and that we can move on and have a vote on this.

5:13 PM EDT

Ron Packard, R-CA 48th

Mr. PACKARD. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.

Mr. Chairman, we do not have a dog in this fight. This is a squabble within the Maryland delegation. However, generally we as a committee like to finish projects that have been started.

The project does meet the cost-sharing responsibilities. That is economically favorable. It has been authorized. Under those conditions, we generally like to see the project funded. It is funded at the level that the administration has requested. I would hope that the debate can conclude and that we can move on and have a vote on this.

5:14 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate his comments.

Mr. Chairman, I would remind my colleagues, in listening to the debate of my friend, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), what he is particularly animated about and what we all share his concern about is pollution, not only in the Chesapeake Bay but in its tributaries as well, that obviously run to and from the Bay, irrespective of studies that tell me it is running both ways.

[Time: 17:15]

That is a little perverse, and I share the gentleman's skepticism at this finding. But he is very concerned. And he has talked about the pollution in Chesapeake City, the pollution in other areas, the results of dredging, the results of spoil. That is the gentleman's issue. The issue is he does not want dredging. I understand that.

Now, the gentleman has offered very frankly some comments about the studies: that the studies that he believes were done in 1997 and 1998 are not accurate; that the Corps has asked for new studies, and that they are trying to complete this study.

The gentleman wants to, in effect, preliminarily cut the head off of this item. And his staffer is shaking his head very vigorously, yes. That is what the gentleman wants to do. He wants to kill this project. I understand that.

He did not want to kill it in 1996, when he signed a MD delegation support letter. Now, why do we have a joint letter? We had a delegation letter because we thought it was a State issue and all eight of us signed the letter. All eight of us, including the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. BARTLETT) whose district does not touch the Chesapeake Bay, although his district does touch on the Potomac River, which does come into the Chesapeake Bay, the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. MORELLA),

whose district touches the Potomac River which connects to the Chesapeake Bay; myself and every other Member in the delegation signed the letter.

The gentleman's concern is well understood in the delegation. He is very well-schooled on this and works hard on it, and I have the utmost respect for [Page: H5231]

the work that he does and the work he expresses. But as the gentleman from Baltimore, Maryland (Mr. CARDIN), pointed out, we are all concerned about that. All of us are very concerned about this issue.

Mr. Chairman, I frankly will tell the gentleman that I have been involved in trying to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and support Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs since long before he was in office, when I was in the State Senate, as has the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. CARDIN). The fact of the matter is that he is concerned about that.

Now, we should allow the Army Corps of Engineers to complete this study. Then we can have the debate, because it will take money to dredge. Then we can have the debate. At this point in time I would assure my colleagues that this is a State issue, not a local issue. This is a State issue.

Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Baltimore County, Maryland (Mr. EHRLICH), who represents parts around Baltimore City, County and Anne Arundel County as well and Hartford County that all border the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries who himself has an interest in the Port of Baltimore, for yielding me this time.

5:14 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate his comments.

Mr. Chairman, I would remind my colleagues, in listening to the debate of my friend, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), what he is particularly animated about and what we all share his concern about is pollution, not only in the Chesapeake Bay but in its tributaries as well, that obviously run to and from the Bay, irrespective of studies that tell me it is running both ways.

[Time: 17:15]

That is a little perverse, and I share the gentleman's skepticism at this finding. But he is very concerned. And he has talked about the pollution in Chesapeake City, the pollution in other areas, the results of dredging, the results of spoil. That is the gentleman's issue. The issue is he does not want dredging. I understand that.

Now, the gentleman has offered very frankly some comments about the studies: that the studies that he believes were done in 1997 and 1998 are not accurate; that the Corps has asked for new studies, and that they are trying to complete this study.

The gentleman wants to, in effect, preliminarily cut the head off of this item. And his staffer is shaking his head very vigorously, yes. That is what the gentleman wants to do. He wants to kill this project. I understand that.

He did not want to kill it in 1996, when he signed a MD delegation support letter. Now, why do we have a joint letter? We had a delegation letter because we thought it was a State issue and all eight of us signed the letter. All eight of us, including the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. BARTLETT) whose district does not touch the Chesapeake Bay, although his district does touch on the Potomac River, which does come into the Chesapeake Bay, the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. MORELLA),

whose district touches the Potomac River which connects to the Chesapeake Bay; myself and every other Member in the delegation signed the letter.

The gentleman's concern is well understood in the delegation. He is very well-schooled on this and works hard on it, and I have the utmost respect for [Page: H5231]

the work that he does and the work he expresses. But as the gentleman from Baltimore, Maryland (Mr. CARDIN), pointed out, we are all concerned about that. All of us are very concerned about this issue.

Mr. Chairman, I frankly will tell the gentleman that I have been involved in trying to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and support Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs since long before he was in office, when I was in the State Senate, as has the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. CARDIN). The fact of the matter is that he is concerned about that.

Now, we should allow the Army Corps of Engineers to complete this study. Then we can have the debate, because it will take money to dredge. Then we can have the debate. At this point in time I would assure my colleagues that this is a State issue, not a local issue. This is a State issue.

Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Baltimore County, Maryland (Mr. EHRLICH), who represents parts around Baltimore City, County and Anne Arundel County as well and Hartford County that all border the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries who himself has an interest in the Port of Baltimore, for yielding me this time.

5:14 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate his comments.

Mr. Chairman, I would remind my colleagues, in listening to the debate of my friend, the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST), what he is particularly animated about and what we all share his concern about is pollution, not only in the Chesapeake Bay but in its tributaries as well, that obviously run to and from the Bay, irrespective of studies that tell me it is running both ways.

[Time: 17:15]

That is a little perverse, and I share the gentleman's skepticism at this finding. But he is very concerned. And he has talked about the pollution in Chesapeake City, the pollution in other areas, the results of dredging, the results of spoil. That is the gentleman's issue. The issue is he does not want dredging. I understand that.

Now, the gentleman has offered very frankly some comments about the studies: that the studies that he believes were done in 1997 and 1998 are not accurate; that the Corps has asked for new studies, and that they are trying to complete this study.

The gentleman wants to, in effect, preliminarily cut the head off of this item. And his staffer is shaking his head very vigorously, yes. That is what the gentleman wants to do. He wants to kill this project. I understand that.

He did not want to kill it in 1996, when he signed a MD delegation support letter. Now, why do we have a joint letter? We had a delegation letter because we thought it was a State issue and all eight of us signed the letter. All eight of us, including the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. BARTLETT) whose district does not touch the Chesapeake Bay, although his district does touch on the Potomac River, which does come into the Chesapeake Bay, the gentlewoman from Maryland (Mrs. MORELLA),

whose district touches the Potomac River which connects to the Chesapeake Bay; myself and every other Member in the delegation signed the letter.

The gentleman's concern is well understood in the delegation. He is very well-schooled on this and works hard on it, and I have the utmost respect for [Page: H5231]

the work that he does and the work he expresses. But as the gentleman from Baltimore, Maryland (Mr. CARDIN), pointed out, we are all concerned about that. All of us are very concerned about this issue.

Mr. Chairman, I frankly will tell the gentleman that I have been involved in trying to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and support Chesapeake Bay cleanup programs since long before he was in office, when I was in the State Senate, as has the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. CARDIN). The fact of the matter is that he is concerned about that.

Now, we should allow the Army Corps of Engineers to complete this study. Then we can have the debate, because it will take money to dredge. Then we can have the debate. At this point in time I would assure my colleagues that this is a State issue, not a local issue. This is a State issue.

Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Baltimore County, Maryland (Mr. EHRLICH), who represents parts around Baltimore City, County and Anne Arundel County as well and Hartford County that all border the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries who himself has an interest in the Port of Baltimore, for yielding me this time.

5:18 PM EDT

Bob Ehrlich Jr., R-MD 2nd

Mr. EHRLICH. Mr. Chairman, reclaiming my time, I would state that we pay these folks to do a job. If we do not trust them, we should not hire them. We should let them finish their job.

However, I think the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. HOYER) puts it very succinctly. Our respected colleague has a different view. In the interest of fairness, I will yield to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. GILCHREST).

5:18 PM EDT

Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD 1st

Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.

Mr. Chairman, I am not only concerned about the Chesapeake Bay; I want to get involved in doing something about the Chesapeake Bay. Just speaking words does not have an impact on the ground.

And as far as that letter was concerned, once we evaluated the process after we supported it in the beginning, we saw some oversight problems.

I would rather be right than be consistent. And Abraham Lincoln said, ``The foolish and the dead alone never change their mind.''

Now, we all have disagreements on this, and I respect those disagreements. But not only is my issue dredging, and not only is my issue where to dispose of it and the environmental vulnerability of the Chesapeake Bay and its estuaries, but I am also concerned about jobs; and I would do nothing that would eliminate jobs in the City of Baltimore.

5:18 PM EDT

Wayne Gilchrest, R-MD 1st

Mr. GILCHREST. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding to me.

Mr. Chairman, I am not only concerned about the Chesapeake Bay; I want to get involved in doing something about the Chesapeake Bay. Just speaking words does not have an impact on the ground.

And as far as that letter was concerned, once we evaluated the process after we supported it in the beginning, we saw some oversight problems.

I would rather be right than be consistent. And Abraham Lincoln said, ``The foolish and the dead alone never change their mind.''

Now, we all have disagreements on this, and I respect those disagreements. But not only is my issue dredging, and not only is my issue where to dispose of it and the environmental vulnerability of the Chesapeake Bay and its estuaries, but I am also concerned about jobs; and I would do nothing that would eliminate jobs in the City of Baltimore.