September 26, 2019

Manchin Includes Funding For Combating The Opioid Epidemic, PFAS Contamination Clean-Up Efforts, And Summit Point In Spending Bills

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, included significant funding for West Virginia in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Interior and Environment; Homeland Security; Commerce, Justice, and Science; State and Foreign Ops; and Legislative Branch appropriations bills which were reported out of committee today.

“Today the committee approved these appropriations bills and I am pleased that they provide West Virginia with funding for some of the state’s top priorities: combatting the opioid epidemic, PFAS contamination clean-up efforts, and Summit Point. As we continue our work in the Appropriations Committee I will fight for West Virginia in the final budget for 2020 and for a responsible budget that puts West Virginia first,” said Senator Manchin.

Read West Virginia Highlights in FY20 Interior and Environment; Homeland Security; Commerce, Justice, and Science; and State and Foreign Ops Bills below:

Interior and Environment Bill:

  • PFAS Contamination and Remediation: $20 million in additional funding to help states address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination and remediation, and multiple sets of report language surrounding PFAS contamination, clean-up efforts, and water treatment operations.
    • Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge: Encourages the Fish and Wildlife Service to consider and prioritize LEED certification for the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
    • Minden Clean Up: Encourages the Environmental Protection Agency to regularly update the West Virginia Delegation on the status of their efforts, including providing health assessment results and analysis after testing.
    • National Conservation Training Center (NCTC): $26 million, equal to FY19 enacted levels, for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife National Conservation Training Center, located in Shepherdstown.
    • Monongahela National Forest: $750,000 through the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) for Forest Service Land Acquisition within the Monongahela National Forest.
    • Abandoned Mine Lands (AML): $115 million for the continuation of the AML Economic Development Grants pilot program to help address reclamation and economic development in coal country.
    • Relief for Timber Industry: Urges USDA to provide relief from Chinese tariffs for the timber industry.
    • Wildfire Suppression Funding: $2.25 billion in additional funding to help cover firefighting costs during bad fire seasons.

Homeland Security Bill:

  • Summit Point:  Provides $10 million for the expansion of the CBP Advanced Training Center at Summit Point, which has been looking for a federal tenant to take over after the Department of State divests itself of the facility in October.
  • Coast Guard: $3 million for the Coast Guard merchant mariner secure electronic application system, which will be housed in Martinsburg, as well as $16 million for Coast Guard cybersecurity and IT infrastructure.
  • Opioids: Provides significant funding across several DHS components to combat the flow of opioids into the U.S., including $1.5 million for Science & Technology collaboration with ICE on opioid-related investigations and $3 million for illicit drug investigations (including training in opioid cyber investigative techniques) to combat supply chains using the “dark web,” and develop opioid detectors to protect law enforcement officers and canines who come in contact with dangerous doses.
  • Emergency Response: $355 million for Assistance to Fire Fighters Grants and another $355 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants.
  • Disaster Relief: The National Pre-disaster mitigation fund is newly funded as a percentage of the Disaster Relief Fund and there is an oversight provision. $17.827 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund.
  • Transshipment: Allows Customs and Border Protection administrative flexibility to identify transshipment products.

Commerce, Justice, and Science Bill:

  • Opioids: Within DOJ, significant funding aimed at combatting the opioid and heroin epidemic, including $505 million for fighting the Heroin and Opioid epidemic, $80 million for drug courts ($3 million more than FY19), and $90 million for Second Chance Act Programs ($2.5 million more than FY19), as well as significant funding targeting fentanyl detection.
  • EDA: $319.5 million for the Economic Development Administration ($15.5 million more than FY19), which provides critical grant funding to help foster innovation in small, rural communities, including $30 million in assistance to coal communities like West Virginia, which is the largest per capita recipient of EDA funds. Senator Manchin also included an amendment that encourages EDA to consider grants to regional planning and development organizations for GIS mapping of critical infrastructure such as broadband coverage or water and sewage lines. WV’s water infrastructure needs are estimated to be as much as $4 billion.
  • Green Bank: Ensures full funding and continued NSF support for operations at the Green Bank Observatory, as well as additional capabilities for use in near earth orbit object detection and planetary defense.
  • Broadband: Directs Commerce Department to ensure broadband access and improve mapping in rural areas through the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), as well as language directing NTIA to study the benefits of using crowd-sourced data to ensure better coverage maps.
  • BOP: Directs the Bureau of Prisons to curtail its overreliance on augmentation. Requires the staffing ratios of correctional officers to inmates currently reported to the Committee be made available to the public on the BOP website and that the correctional complex data be further broken down.
  • Census: $7.558 billion for increased support and funding for the 2020 Decennial Census.

State and Foreign Ops Bill:

  • Summit Point: Secures language directing the Department of State to minimize disruption to Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) training during transition from the Interim Training Facility in Summit Point, WV. Also directs DOS to work with other Federal Agencies to determine an alternate use for the Interim Training Facility.
  • Israeli Support: Provides $3.3 billion for military assistance and $5 million for refugee resettlement assistance in Israel.
  • Countering Chinese Interests: $375 million to the Countering Chinese Influence Fund to identify and protect against harmful Belt and Road initiatives which seek to promote Chinese interests globally.
  • Educational and Cultural Exchange programs: Supplies $735 million, and adds language directing the Department of State to expand the participation of rural and impoverished areas in over 35 cultural exchange programs that cover the majority of a participant’s costs.