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U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) joined the Senate Appropriations Committee this week in approving a bill that includes significant support for important New Mexico installations and programs, including Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and New Mexico water projects.
The bill includes record-level base funding for waste cleanup at Los Alamos (LANL), and significant funding levels for WIPP operations and maintenance. Udall also included an amendment to the bill’s report language to improve voluntary water transfers in the Middle Rio Grande Basin Endangered Species Collaborative Program.
Key provisions for New Mexico in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill include:
• LANL cleanup: $250 million ($35 million above the president’s budget request).
• WIPP cleanup: $222 million ($19 million above the president’s request).
• DOE algae biofuels: $30 million ($14.5 million above the president’s budget request).
• WaterSMART programs: $51 million, including $20 million for grants as requested by Udall ($16 million above the president’s request).
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