Senate Passes Helium Stewardship Act, Portion of Revenue to Address National Park Service Maintenance Backlog

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   September 26, 2013
Contact:   Shannon Andrea, Director of Media Relations, National Parks Conservation Association; Phone: 202.365.5912


Senate Passes Helium Stewardship Act, Portion of Revenue to Address National Park Service Maintenance Backlog

STATEMENT BY: Craig Obey, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, National Parks Conservation Association


Background: Today the U.S. Senate passed the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act and sent it to the President for his signature, following the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the legislation the preceding day. The Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act includes a provision that establishes a cost share opportunity to help reduce the National Park Service deferred maintenance backlog.

“The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is deeply grateful for the bipartisan support this bill received. We are thrilled that Congress passed the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act with the provision to use a portion of the revenue generated to begin to address the National Park Service $11.5 billion deferred maintenance backlog.   At the initiative of Senators Wyden and Murkowski, the Act allocates $50 million to address the backlog, which is intended to leverage an additional $50 million in non-federal funds.”

“This is a small but very important step in the right direction to more properly fund our national parks, particularly in light of recent and continuing cuts, including the sequester.  The National Park Service currently receives an estimated $600 million less than it needs to effectively operate the parks every year, and the National Park Service construction account has declined by 70% in today’s dollars over the last decade.  NPCA hopes this investment will mark the beginning of a more substantial effort to restore the funding needed to protect America’s most treasured places for present and future generations to enjoy.” 

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