Rep. Marino Guides Route 209 Bill to Passage
Washington D.C.—Today, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) guided H.R. 3620, a bill to amend the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Improvement Act, to unanimous bipartisan passage in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation allows access for certain vehicles serving residents of municipalities adjacent to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWG) for five years.
Marino issued the following statement on the bill’s passage:
“We are grateful of National Park Service officials for their patience while myself, local officials and community stakeholders negotiated a solution. There was always agreement that Route 209 posed a unique dilemma to the traditional commercial vehicle ban within national parks. The best way to address that was to issue commercial traffic serving the DWG’s surrounding communities an access permit administered by the National Park Service. This solution protects jobs, maintains access to the park and preserves the pristine nature of the DWG.
I greatly appreciate the support from my House colleagues, Chairman Rob Bishop, Members of the Committee on Natural Resources as well as Representative Cartwright in joining me to resolve this issue by passing this bill.”
Floor Statement of Congressman Tom Marino on H.R. 3620, to amend the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to provide specific commercial vehicle access; Wednesday, February 24, 2016
THANK YOU MISTER SPEAKER/MADAME SPEAKER.
I RISE TODAY IN SUPPORT OF MY BILL TO REAUTHORIZE COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC ALONG ROUTE 209 THROUGH THE DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA.
FOR NEARLY 5 MONTHS NOW, UNCERTAINTY HAS REIGNED OVER THIS 21 MILE STRETCH OF ROAD RUNNING THROUGH MY DISTRICT.
OVER 30 YEARS AGO, THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA TRANSFERRED ROUTE 209, THEN A STATE ROAD, TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.
AS COMMERCIAL THRU TRAFFIC IS BANNED ON ROADS WITHIN OUR NATIONAL PARKS, IT WOULD ALSO BE ON THIS STRETCH OF ROUTE 209.
BUT AT THAT TIME, A 10 YEAR EXEMPTION WAS MADE TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL FREIGHT TRANSPORT INDUSTRY AND BECAUSE ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATIVE ROUTES WERE UNAVAILABLE.
AFTER MULTIPLE EXTENSIONS, THE MOST RECENT COMMERCIAL VEHICLE AUTHORIZATION EXPIRED AT THE END OF SEPTEMBER 2015.
TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM, COUNTY AND TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS FROM THE SURROUNDING AREAS MET WITH THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND MY STAFF TO NEGOTIATE A NEW SCHEME.
THEY RECOGNIZED A CONTINUING NEED TO ALLOW SOME COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ACCESS AND SETTLED ON THE CAREFULLY CRAFTED LANGUAGE WE ARE CONSIDERING TODAY.
THE WORK TO PRODUCE THIS EXTENSION ACKNOWLEDGES THE CONTINUED NEED OF EMPLYERS, BUSINESSES AND HOMEOWNERS I REPRESENT IN PIKE AND MONROE COUNTIES.
THE EXPIRATION IN SEPTEMBER CAST A CLOUD ON THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND PUT COUNTLESS JOBS IN JEOPARDY.
PASSING THIS BILL SO THAT IT CAN BE SWIFTLY CONSIDERED BY THE SENATE IS IMPERATIVE AS THE WEATHER WARMS AND BUSINESS ACTIVITY INCREASES THROUGH THE REGION.
I WANT TO THANK CHAIRMAN BISHOP FOR HIS SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE IN BRINGING THIS BILL TO THE FLOOR AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT.
AND YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.