WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today announced additional amendments to government funding bills aimed at combating harmful algal blooms and studying the health impact of the crisis. The amendments follow the passage of two amendments offered by Rep. Mast in July to increase funding to combat harmful algal blooms by more than $1 million.
“When the House passed my amendments in July to add more than $1 million in funding to combat harmful algal blooms, I promised that I’d keep fighting for more,” Rep. Mast said. “That’s why as Congress continues to consider government funding bills, I’m offering more amendments to address this crisis and it’s dangerous health impacts. These amendments are cost-effective solutions to a problem that has caused incalculable damage to our community.”
The proposals would amend the Make American Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, which is expected to be considered in the coming week. The amendments are as follows:
- Adds $110 million to Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations to continue mitigation of floods and toxic agricultural runoff into waterways.
- Adds $8 million to NOAA’s National Ocean Service to detect, respond to, and develop new and innovative technologies to mitigate impacts from Harmful Algal Blooms. Rep. Mast is the lead co-sponsor of this amendment offered by Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16).
- Adds $5.6 million to the Natural Resource Conservation Service to promote environmentally sustainable agriculture and toxic runoff mitigation.
- Adds $2 million to the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative to expand postdoctoral research, prevention and monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms.
- Adds $1.5 million to the FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, to continue research on human impact of contaminated seafood.
- Adds $1.1 million to the EPA Office of Research and Development to research water quality impacts of nutrient inputs, temperature, land use and runoff.
- Adds $1 million to non-point source pollution grants to state projects for mitigation and removal of toxic substances.
- Adds $1 million to the U.S. Geological Service, Oregon Water Sciences Research Center, to research Harmful Algal Blooms affect on animals and exposure to disease from toxins.
- Adds $1 million to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to research human health impacts of exposure to Harmful Algal Bloom toxins.
- Adds $400,000 to the CDC’s Safe Water Program to investigate environmental threats of public exposure to waterborne contaminates.