Today the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, which the House passed on Tuesday and now heads to President Obama’s desk for signature. The National Audubon Society released the following statement:
“It’s great to see funding for big ecosystem restoration projects included in the final bill, but the ‘project acceleration’ language undermines some of our nation’s most important environmental laws and is deeply troubling,” Audubon Vice President of Government Relations and Director of National Programs Mike Daulton.
“In particular,” Daulton continued, “funding for four projects in the Everglades marks the first opportunity in seven years to make significant progress in restoring that ecosystem, benefitting Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Everglades Snail Kites, and other birds and wildlife. Funding for Mississippi River Delta restoration and the reauthorization of the Rio Grande Environmental Management Program will help restore watersheds threatened by climate change and overconsumption of natural resources, which have harmed people and wildlife alike.”
“But the controversial so-called ‘project acceleration’ language undermines the effectiveness of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and the Clean Water Act, among other bedrock environmental laws,” Daulton said. “We strongly object to language that limits the quality of information available to the Army Corps of Engineers in project planning and that limits public participation in decisions that deeply affect public safety, the environment, and the economy.”