1:39 PM EDT

Bud Shuster, R-PA 9th

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, first of all, perhaps most importantly, I want to commend the gentleman from New York (Mr. SWEENEY) for his leadership in being the principal architect and author of this legislation to reauthorize and improve the Clean Lakes Program.

This bill will help restore and protect our Nation's 41 million acres of fresh water lakes by reauthorizing the EPA Clean Lakes Program. The bill authorizes $250 million of grants to help States clean up their lakes, and it increases to $25 million the amount to help States mitigate against the harmful effects of acid mine drainage and acid rain.

The EPA no longer requests funding under the Clean Lakes Program, and has forced the States to stretch their limited nonpoint source funds to clean up their lakes. This legislation restores this important program and places a national focus and a priority on our lakes. It allows funds to solve the wide range of problems impairing our many lakes. Very importantly, Mr. Chairman, it relies on locally-based solutions involving restoration, rather than new Federal regulations.

I certainly want to thank the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. OBERSTAR), the subcommittee chairman, the gentleman from New York (Mr. BOEHLERT), the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. BORSKI), and the entire committee for their support in moving this environmental legislation forward. It passed the subcommittee and the full committee unanimously by voice vote. I know of no opposition to it.

I would certainly urge overwhelming support for this important environmental legislation.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:39 PM EDT

Bud Shuster, R-PA 9th

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, first of all, perhaps most importantly, I want to commend the gentleman from New York (Mr. SWEENEY) for his leadership in being the principal architect and author of this legislation to reauthorize and improve the Clean Lakes Program.

This bill will help restore and protect our Nation's 41 million acres of fresh water lakes by reauthorizing the EPA Clean Lakes Program. The bill authorizes $250 million of grants to help States clean up their lakes, and it increases to $25 million the amount to help States mitigate against the harmful effects of acid mine drainage and acid rain.

The EPA no longer requests funding under the Clean Lakes Program, and has forced the States to stretch their limited nonpoint source funds to clean up their lakes. This legislation restores this important program and places a national focus and a priority on our lakes. It allows funds to solve the wide range of problems impairing our many lakes. Very importantly, Mr. Chairman, it relies on locally-based solutions involving restoration, rather than new Federal regulations.

I certainly want to thank the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. OBERSTAR), the subcommittee chairman, the gentleman from New York (Mr. BOEHLERT), the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. BORSKI), and the entire committee for their support in moving this environmental legislation forward. It passed the subcommittee and the full committee unanimously by voice vote. I know of no opposition to it.

I would certainly urge overwhelming support for this important environmental legislation.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:40 PM EDT

Tom Reynolds, R-NY 27th

Mr. REYNOLDS. Mr. Speaker, House Resolution 470 is an open rule providing for the consideration of H.R. 3039, a bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to assist in the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. The rule provides for 1 hour of general debate, equally divided and controlled by the chairman and the ranking member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, the rule also provides that the bill shall be open for amendment at any point, and authorizes the Chair to accord priority in recognition to Members who have preprinted their amendments in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. Additionally, the rule allows the chairman of the Committee of the Whole to postpone votes during consideration of the bill and to reduce voting time to 5 minutes on a postponed question if the rule follows a 15 minute vote.

Finally, the rule provides for one motion to recommit, with or without instructions.

Mr. Speaker, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States and is an important commercial, recreational, and historical center for thousands of residents in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

The Chesapeake Bay is protected and promoted under a unique voluntary partnership under the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, first adopted in 1983. The signatories to the agreement are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and the States of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, along with the District of Columbia. The agreement directs and conducts the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.

Over the past two decades, much progress has been made in restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Area wildlife is recovering, toxic pollutant releases are down, and bay grasses have increased. However, much more needs to be done, particularly regarding water clarity and restoring the oyster population.

This bill addresses the need for a cooperative Federal, State, and local effort in restoring the Chesapeake Bay by authorizing $180 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program for fiscal years 2000 through 2005. In addition, the bill requires Federal facilities to participate in watershed planning and restoration activities.

Finally, the bill requires a study of the state of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and a study of the Chesapeake Bay Program's effect on this ecosystem.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support both the rule and the underlying bill.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

1:42 PM EDT

Tony P. Hall, D-OH 3rd

Mr. HALL of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, this is an open rule. The debate time will be equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The rule permits amendments under the 5-minute rule.

This is the normal amending process in the House. All Members on both sides of the aisle will have the opportunity to offer germane amendments.

Mr. Speaker, the Chesapeake Bay is one of the most important bodies of water within the United States. Activities in the Bay make significant contributions to our economy through commercial fishing and shipping. The Bay supports extensive wildlife and vegetation. It also provides Americans with numerous recreational opportunities.

Years of man-made pollution have threatened the Bay and the life within it. However, there has been progress, and it is being made under the Chesapeake Bay Agreement signed by the District of Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the States of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 3039 will authorize money over a 6-year period for the United States Federal Government to support the agreement. The Chesapeake Bay is a national treasure. The legislation is necessary to help protect [Page: H2149]

the Bay and its resources for all Americans. This is an open rule, we support it, and we urge its adoption.

[Time: 13:45]

Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.