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Tonko Floating Solar & Water Priorities Advance in Must-Pass Legislation

Tonko provisions to support floating solar investment and protect vital New York Waterways included in bipartisan package

  • PDT Cohoes Floating Solar

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Paul D. Tonko cheered the inclusion of several provisions he championed to protect and enhance water resources throughout the Capital Region and across the country.

“By harnessing the power of our waterways, we can strengthen our local communities, address drought and flood risks, support environmental justice, bolster the economy, and so much more,” Congressman Tonko said. “I’m lucky to represent a region that is home to several historic waterways, and I have long been working to protect them. After years of pushing, I am proud that the provisions I authored will be taken up to strongly invest and support these cherished waters and the communities surrounding them.”

The Tonko-championed provisions include:

  • $10 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess the potential for installing floating solar projects on Corps’ assets. This provision was also recently introduced in Congress as part of Tonko’s POWER our Reservoirs Act.
  • A designation of the New York-New Jersey Watershed as a “priority river basin and watershed”, which will enable greater ability for the Army Corps to assess ecosystem protection and restoration, flood risk, and other watershed needs for the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers.
  • An authorization to assess flood risk management, navigation, and environmental restoration in the Mohawk River Basin.

Tonko has long led on legislation that would support and protect key waterways in New York and across the nation. Last week, he introduced the POWER our Reservoirs Act (Protect our Waters and Expand Renewables on our Reservoirs Act) to advance clean energy production and drought protection at our nation’s federal water reservoirs, by calling on federal agencies to study opportunities to deploy floating solar panels on their reservoirs and launch innovative pilot projects.

These Tonko-led provisions were included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, a title of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023, which is expected to be voted upon in the House later this week.

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