WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 1, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement today after voting in favor of the fiscal year 2016 Energy and Water Appropriations bill (H.R. 2028), which includes provisions that provide funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP), prohibits implementation of the proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule and prohibits funding of gun control efforts on Army Corps of Engineers land:
“The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is a top economic priority for the state of Georgia and the entire Southeastern region of the country. Once completed, this project will provide security for the 21,000 American businesses that rely on the Port of Savannah and bring $174 million in annual net benefits to the United States. The funding in this bill ensures the expansion project stays on schedule.
“Additionally, this bill sinks the EPA’s proposal to vastly expand the definition of waterways. By blocking the proposal’s implementation, the EPA’s efforts to regulate small streams, farm ponds and irrigation ditches will be stopped. This is a major win farmers and ranchers across the country.
“Finally, as a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, I’m pleased this bill includes language to prohibit funding of gun control efforts on the Army Corp of Engineers’ 11.7 million acres of public land. This provision is a critical win for law-abiding gun owners throughout our nation.”
H.R. 2028 passed the House by a vote of 240 to 177.
Savannah Harbor Expansion Project: SHEP deepens the Savannah Harbor federal shipping channel from a depth of -42 feet to -47 feet. The extra depth will allow an additional 3,600 cargo containers in each transit.
Waters of the U.S. Rule: The “Waters of the U.S.” rule was proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers in 2013. It would significantly broaden the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and result in a major expansion of federal government power over land across America.
Gun Control: The Army Corps of Engineers was exempt from a bipartisan law enacted in 2009, which legalized possession of firearms for self-defense on National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System lands. Rep. Graves initially proposed language prohibiting funding of gun control efforts on Army Corps of Engineers land as an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill last year. The language, however, was not included in the Cromnibus.