INHOFE LAUDS OKLAHOMA VICTORIES IN APPROPRIATIONS BILL

WASHINGTON---U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today heralded the funding secured for various Oklahoma projects in the Conference Report to the Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 2673), that passed the Senate today (65-28).

*Please see attached list of Oklahoma Omnibus Appropriations:

"This omnibus bill will provide essential funding for numerous state projects and continued dollars for vital Oklahoma programs," Inhofe said.

Tar Creek funding included in the 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill is as follows:

Native Grassland Demonstration Project $2,200,000 University of Oklahoma Surface Water Treatment $3,000,000 Oklahoma DEQ for Neighborhood Restoration, Ottawa County $4,000,000

The $9.2 million in funding included in the 2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill combined with the $7.5 million already passed this year in both the Energy and Water and The Department of Interior appropriations bills brings total 2004 appropriations for Tar Creek to $16.7 million.

Senator Inhofe himself secured the total of this funding and delivered $1.7 million more than promised to the citizens of Oklahoma.

Additionally, the first meeting of the principles to the Tar Creek Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) took place today in Tulsa. The MOU group, made up of the principles that originally signed the MOU, has now at the insistence of Chairman Inhofe, adopted a unified cooperative approach to the clean up of Tar Creek.

"For too long these federal agencies have had competing agendas that delayed progress at Tar Creek," said Inhofe. "Now these agencies will be working together, cooperating and communicating, so as to expedite the cleanup of Tar Creek."

As a result of Inhofe's initiative, the Memorandum of Understanding has pulled together representatives from the EPA, Department of Interior, and the Corps of Engineers who today met with representatives from the United States Geological Survey, Department of Environmental Quality, and Governor Brad Henry's Office.