Transportation & Infrastructure
More on Transportation & Infrastructure
February 10, 2017 Press Release
“The letter I received from House appropriations today makes it perfectly clear that there is simply no money being provided to FRA for implementation of their NEC FUTURE plan, including the so-called Kenyon Bypass,” said Courtney. “My office has confirmed with both majority and minority appropriations staff that there is no funding under current law, or under the transportation bill already passed in the House for FY 2017 for FRA to implement the NEC FUTURE rail plan. I will continue to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to ensure that no funding is made available now or in the future for FRA to implement any upgrades which harms communities here in southeastern Connecticut.”
December 16, 2016 Press Release
"The FRA's report released today continues to ignore strong and consistent concerns expressed by the State of Connecticut and local citizens about the eastern shoreline realignment plans... we will continue to do all we can to remove this bypass from the final FRA plan in order to provide our communities with the certainty they deserve. Should the FRA continue in its pursuit of its proposed alignment, we will work to ensure that Connecticut exercises every tool at its disposal at the state and federal levels to stop any effort to move forward with this misguided plan."
“I am very pleased that EPA has finalized its rule establishing a new Eastern Long Island Sound dredging disposal site,” said Courtney “This eagerly awaited step is the result of years of intensive scientific study, robust public engagement and advocacy by a wide range of interests in the region, and I firmly believe that the final product reflects the balanced approach that we all know is needed. The need for this site could not be any clearer, with activities ranging from small marinas to commercial maritime transportation and military facilities like Submarine Base New London all relying on access to a long term placement site for dredged materials. The final plan also moved the site to avoid obstructing the route used by Naval submarines while traveling to and from the Port of New London. The new site is also now located entirely within Connecticut waters demonstrating that the hearing and comment period which included hundreds of letters and testimony from the public on both sides of the Sound was incorporated. Completion of this process is absolutely vital to eastern Connecticut’s economy, and I thank the EPA for its diligent work for getting this site done.”
“The federal TIGER funding I helped secure proved critical in the effort to leverage matching funds from private industry in order to get this project underway,” said Courtney. “After the rail line upgrades are completed, it will greatly expand the freight capacity of the eastern Connecticut rail network. That is an enormous increase from the current capacity and will allow the Port of New London to greatly expand the amount of freight cargo that can be shipped in and sent out by rail across the region. This development is bound to expand industry and create new jobs across eastern Connecticut as shipping expands. I want to thank the U.S. Department of Transportation, ConnDOT and the New England Central Rail for their continuing commitment to getting this done.“
September 29, 2016 Press Release
“The Old Stonington Wharf is an historic treasure and the town deserves the chance to restore it for future generations to enjoy,” said Courtney. “Unfortunately, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has allowed this historic landmark to deteriorate over the years without regular maintenance and repairs. I applaud the hard working local officials including Task Force Chair Peter Tacy, Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons and retiring State-Senator Andy Maynard, for putting a plan of action in place to get the work done. I was pleased that the House passed my amendment today, and I will continue to press my colleagues in the House and Senate to make sure it is included in the final version after the bills have been conferenced."
“The final rule issued yesterday establishing new restrictions on the use of the Central and Western Long Island Sound Dredged Material Disposal Sites goes a long way toward protecting the environment while advancing Connecticut’s maritime economic interests. Long Island Sound waterways contribute more than $9 billion annually to our economic output in the region and maintaining navigable shipping channels is critical to the long-term health of our state’s economy. From the submarine base in Groton to family-owned marinas up and down our coast, thousands of residents across our state depend on reliable access to local waterways for their livelihoods. We are pleased that the amended restrictions announced yesterday prioritize disposing of dredged materials on land to mitigate any harm to the environment and the region’s fish and shellfish stocks. EPA was able to strike the right balance between ensuring our maritime economy continues to thrive while protecting both the scenic beauty and biological diversity of the Sound.”
March 10, 2016 Press Release
“This was a great opportunity to speak directly with local selectmen, fire chiefs, nonprofits, and other community leaders from across the district about the benefits of working with the USDA-Rural Development program,” said Courtney. “All too often, rural communities do not have access to the credit necessary to begin long-term projects like bridges, schools, or municipal complexes, and these loans and grants provided through the USDA ensure eastern Connecticut towns do not get left behind. During the reauthorization of the Farm Bill in 2014, I worked hard to maintain rural development eligibility in Connecticut by ensuring the definition of rural included small communities in Eastern Connecticut. I want to thank all of our local leaders who came out to learn more about the grant program, and I look forward to working with them to obtain additional grant funding for our district this year.”
“While we understand that the FRA is still in the project planning stages of NEC FUTURE and many more steps remain ahead in this process, we believe consistent community involvement will serve as the most important tool for finding agreeable alternatives, increasing local buy-in, and instilling a sense of trust among affected residents,” wrote Courtney, Blumenthal, and Murphy. “As the planning process moves forward, we request that the FRA host listening sessions along the Connecticut shoreline where the proposed Alternative 1 new track segment will be constructed in order to hear the views and concerns of the communities in this area.”
January 14, 2016 Press Release
“I was very pleased that we were able to get this important change for our dairy farmers included in the federal transportation bill last month,” said Courtney. “In my role as the as a co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Caucus, I have advocated on the behalf of small and medium sized dairy farmers who expressed a need to change the law which prevented them from fully utilizing the container space in their milk trucks. Simply allowing our dairy farmers to fill their current milk hauling trucks to full capacity will save them both time and money, and prevent the need for additional trucks on our roadways. The new weight exemption will allow haulers to transport the same volume of fluid milk in four full milk trucks compared to the five partially filled milk trucks used to meet existing weight restrictions on Connecticut roads. I want to thank Congresswoman Esty for all of her work on the issue, and for offering the amendment in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee where it was included in the larger transportation bill.”