Rep. Kristi Noem today joined the U.S. House of Representatives in passing new investments into the Indian Health Service (IHS) and wildfire prevention efforts, while also preventing the DC Booth Fish Hatchery from closing and stopping the EPA from completing its controversial Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.  Despite increased support for many South Dakota priorities, the legislation reduced overall spending $64 million below FY2016 levels and $1 billion below the President’s budget request.

“While not perfect, this legislation moves us closer to a model that does more good with fewer dollars,” said Noem.  “The EPA’s bloated budget and overreaching regulatory policies have made it more difficult for many in South Dakota.  I’m proud to have made significant cuts to EPA funding and reduced spending overall, while also offering needed support for IHS, wildfire prevention, the PILT program and other critical South Dakota priorities.”

The FY2017 Interior and Environment appropriations bill includes:

  • 5% increase in support for the IHS, bringing funding to $5.1 billion for FY2017 of which $6 million has been specifically targeted to IHS facilities facing accreditation emergencies, like those in Rosebud and Pine Ridge
  • Fully funds wildland firefighting and prevention programs, dedicating more than half of the U.S. Forest Service budget to fire prevention and suppression
  • Prevents the DC Booth Fish Hatchery from closure in FY2017
  • Fully funds Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), which helps states like South Dakota that have large areas of federal lands fix roads, hire teachers, pay police officers and provide other vital services
  • Prohibits the EPA from completing the WOTUS rule, which could expand the agency’s regulatory jurisdiction over small ditches, prairie potholes, and even seasonally wet areas
  • Reduces funding for the EPA’s regulatory programs by 6% and brings EPA staffing to lowest point since 1989
  • Directs agencies to collaborate to finish needed upgrades to the Mni Wiconi Rural Water Project
  • Prevents the Fish and Wildlife Service from placing the sage grouse on the Endangered Species List

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