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House Appropriations Committee Passes Fiscal Year 2021 Interior-Environment Bill

The Measure Includes Funding for Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, Brown Tree Snake Prevention, National Trails and Other Hawai’i Projects and Priorities Sought by Appropriations Committee Member Case

(Honolulu, HI) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) announced today that his House Appropriations Committee has included in its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act approved by the Committee today his request for more than $5 million for much needed improvements to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.

“With the Memorial and its attractions reopening today for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut them down in March, these much-needed additional improvements at Pearl Harbor will enhance the visitor experience at these historical sites,” said Case.

Case said the money will go to  replace an aging shoreside dock at the Visitor Center, one of two docks used to launch boat tours of Battleship Row.

Case serves on the House Committee on Appropriations, which is responsible for allocating federal funds to government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis. Each year, the Committee approves for full House passage twelve separate bills. The Committee’s Interior-Environment bill funds the Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency and related agencies including the U.S. Forest Service.

In total, the measure passed today by the Committee includes $36.76 billion in regular appropriations, an increase of $771 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, and $5.11 billion over the President’s 2021 request. Additionally, the bill includes $15 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations for investments in critical infrastructure.

The bill makes critical investments in environmental protection and land conservation, clean air and water to protect our communities’ health, earthquake and volcano warning systems, protecting our public lands and endangered species, tribal communities, our territories and climate change mitigation.

Funding provisions of interest to Hawai‘i secured by Case include:

  • $223.907 million for National Park Service (NPS) construction, which includes $5.647 million for the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and $16.03 million for Kalaupapa National Historical Park.
  • $3.5 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State of the Birds Activities, a $250,000 increase. These funds support efforts to recover our most endangered Hawaiian forest bird species.
  • $1.25 million for the NPS American Indian and Native Hawaiian Art and Culture Grants program.
  • $34 million in DOI Compact Impact funds, which helps Hawai‘i and the Pacific territories offset the costs of Compact migration.
  • $3.155 million for the NPS Japanese American Confinement Sites program, which funds the preservation and interpretation of U.S. confinement sites where Japanese Americans were detained during World War II, such as the Honouliuli Internment Camp and Sand Island Detention Camp on O‘ahu.
  • $30.695 million, a $429,000 increase, for the U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program. This includes funding for the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, which monitors the active volcanoes in Hawai‘i, assesses their hazards, issues warnings, and advances scientific understanding to reduce impacts of volcanic eruptions.
  • $15 million, an $800,000 increase, for the NPS National Trails System. This includes the Ala Kahakai National Historical Trail on Hawai‘i Island.
  • $3.5 million for brown tree snake research and control.

Report provisions (directions on the spending of federal funds) of interest to Hawai‘i secured by Case include:

  • Language directing the NPS to fully implement the National Air Tour Management Plan Act of 2000, which requires the NPS and Federal Aviation Administration to promulgate air tour management plans for the nation’s most impacted National Parks, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes and Haleakalā National Parks.
  • Language directing the Bureau of Land Management to execute the survey requirements of the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act and consult with Homestead Beneficiary Associations on confirmation of the specific lands classified as Hawaiian Home Lands.
  • Language supporting the Smithsonian Institution’s work with the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project on the development of an educational website and accompanying resources to recognize Filipino and American WWII veterans.
  • Language ensuring that the NPS consider archaeological collections representing indigenous cultures and remote regions of the country for Save America’s Treasures grants, which provides grants to preserve nationally significant historic properties and collections.