Interior spending bill generous to tech programs

The Senate's pending bill to fund Interior Department programs in fiscal 2008 would direct considerable amounts of cash to technology-related programs.

The $27 billion proposal approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee contains provisions for technology initiatives at various government agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency would be the biggest benefactor; it is slated to receive more than $770 million for science and technology programs.

The bill, S. 1696, also would reserve millions of dollars for tech-related state and tribal assistance grants, including the Environmental Information Exchange Network, that are supported by the EPA. The network is a repository of environmental data. The legislation would direct $10 million for grants to support the project.

The committee report on the measure also noted the EPA's intention to increase its support for nanotechnology research within its base budget. Nanotechnology involves the manipulation of matter at atomic and nuclear levels. The committee recommended that the EPA work with the National Academies of Science to develop a safety roadmap for nano research.

The proposal also would allocate $121 million for the regulation and technology account at Interior's surface mining and enforcement office. The committee recommended $6 million more for that office than the White House requested in February.

More than a $1 billion would be allocated for U.S. Geological Survey, $40 million of which would go toward satellite operations. The survey project allows access to images processed by U.S. spy satellites for environmental research purposes.

The Senate panel also attached a wide range of pet projects to the bill. According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, the measure includes nearly 450 total earmarks worth roughly $900 million -- almost five times as many as a bill cleared by the House earlier this summer.

Tech-related earmarks include $2 million for a water information-sharing and analysis center requested by Robert Bennett, R-Utah. He also requested $250,000 for an oil-and-gas Internet leasing test in his home state. Washington Democrat Patty Murray also requested $1 million to help the Washington Family Forest Foundation with its landowner management database.

The House passed its Interior appropriations bill, H.R. 2643, in June. That measure includes $119 million in earmarks, including $1.65 million requested by lawmakers in Maryland and Virginia for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. The project connects Web sites that contain information about the bay and its surrounding areas.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.