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January 8th, 2009
Congressman Grijalva Re-Introduces Three Environmental Bills for the 111th Congress

Washington, DC— Today, Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva re-introduced three Arizona-related bills that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the 110th Congress, but failed to pass the Senate, in the hopes they will make speedy progress during the new Congress this year.

The Cocopah Lands Act will direct the Secretary of the Interior to take lands in Yuma County into trust as part of the reservation of the Cocopah Indian Tribe. The Act will allow the 423 acres of land already owned by the Tribe to be added to the current 5,934 acres of reservation land.

The bill language does not allow for use of the land for gaming purposes under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area Act will help preserve and promote the cultural and natural resources in the Santa Cruz Valley. The Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area would encompass roughly 3,300 square miles in southern Arizona, bordering Mexico. The designation would provide federal funds for the development of a locally-initiated and community-based conservation strategy for the Santa Cruz Valley, recognizing the importance and uniqueness of our region.

The Avra/Black Wash Reclamation and Riparian Restoration Project will amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide federal funds to help in the construction of water recycling facilities in order to enhance and restore riparian habitat in the Black Wash Sonoran Desert ecosystem in Avra Valley.

“I am proud to reintroduce these three important pieces of legislation today,” stated Grijalva. “I plan to work hard to ensure these bills move through the process quickly and are signed into law by the new President as soon as possible.”

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