WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers announced Friday that a key committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has approved $3 million for PRIDE to continue its valuable environmental initiatives in southern and eastern Kentucky. Rogers secured this important funding to promote environmental volunteerism and education, as well as important water treatment efforts in the region.
"Since its inception in 1997, I have witnessed firsthand the incalculable role of PRIDE in restoring our great land to its natural beauty. Just as important as ridding our forests, streams and roadways of litter and debris, the PRIDE program has inspired a younger generation of Kentuckians to value their surroundings and empowered them to take responsibility for the future of our region," stated Rogers. "In addition, with vital water treatment funding, our ongoing campaign to eliminate straight pipes and failing septic systems will continue to provide our citizens with safe, sanitary wastewater treatment services."
PRIDE, which promotes Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment in 38 counties, was launched by Rogers and the late General James Bickford, former Secretary of the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet. The federal funding designates $1 million for PRIDE's volunteer, education, and clean-up efforts and $2 million for Section 531 water treatment technologies that vastly reduce pollution otherwise headed for local lakes, rivers and streams. The Section 531 program provides grants to counties, cities and utilities for innovative wastewater treatment projects, sewer line extensions or treatment plant upgrades in rural areas at a 75/25 federal/local cost share.
These funds are included in the FY09 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill and the FY09 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill, which both were approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, June 25, 2008. The bills are slated to be considered by the full House of Representatives later this summer.