Senator Reed joined Mayor Jorge Elorza and community partners at City Hall in Providence in recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The group, who took part in the "Wear Orange" campaign to raise awarenss about gun violence, gathered to address the growing problem of gun violence in America and discuss commonsense gun control laws that would reduce the number of deaths from firearms. Senator Reed and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) are currently working to pass legislation that would designate June as National Gun Violence Awareness Month and June 2 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
To celebrate the successful construction and operation of the state-of-the-art Glycol Recovery and Treatment Facility, Senator Reed helped lead a tour of T.F. Green Airport’s new glycol processing facility and discussed its economic and environmental benefits. The $33.2 million facility processes propylene glycol, a substance used in cold weather to prevent the buildup of ice on planes. The excess glycol, which at one time flowed with stormwater runoff into the surrounding area, now goes to the processing plant, where it is broken down into water and methane gas and used as a heat source for the facility. Senator Reed has led efforts to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on plans to invest approximately $110 million in upgrading T.F. Green Airport and expanding the runway. In April, he helped pass a long-term reauthorization of the FAA to enhance airport security and airline safety while protecting consumers and keeping needed upgrades to T.F. Green and other airports on schedule. T.F. Green Airport is one of only three airports in the country with a state-of-the-art system for glycol recovery and treatment.
Vice President Biden, Senator Reed Speak in Rhode Island About the Importance of Infrastructure Funding
Vice President Joe Biden visited Rhode Island on Friday, where he joined Senator Reed, Governor Raimondo, Senator Whitehouse, Congressman Langevin, and Congressman Cicilline at an event discussing efforts to improve infrastructure in Rhode Island. The Vice President voiced his approval of how Rhode Island is taking action to invest in the state's roads and bridges. Senator Reed spoke about the economic advantages of investing in Rhode Island's infrastructure and discussed other efforts at the federal level to bring improvement projects to Rhode Island.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed brought Dr. Linda Birnbaum, a preeminent toxicologist who is the head of the National Institute for Environment Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), to Rhode Island to meet with community and state leaders about lead poisoning prevention, reforming our nation’s chemical laws, and enhancing environmental health.
Senator Reed, who has been a champion for lead poisoning prevention, and Dr. Birnbaum, who oversees federal policy for biomedical research to discover how the environment influences human health and disease, led a forum on the causes, impacts, and mitigation of lead, toxic chemicals, and other environmental health hazards. They were joined by Jim Vincent, President of the NAACP Providence Branch, as well as several Providence-area students and members of the NAACP Providence Branch Youth Council who had returned from volunteering in Flint, Michigan, where they assisted local families that were hit by the water crisis.
Later in the day, Senator Reed and Dr. Birnbaum went to Brown University, where they met with researchers from the university’s Superfund Research Program (SRP) to discuss ways to improve health outcomes for Rhode Islanders who are exposed to environmental toxins. The SRP is one of several research projects in Rhode Island funded by the NIEHS, which recently renewed funding for “Toxicant Exposures in Rhode Island: Past, Present, and Future,” an SRP program that focuses on complex environmental contaminant issues in Rhode Island.
Senator Reed took part in the academic procession at the University of Rhode Island’s 130th commencement ceremony, where the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, served as the Class of 2016 commencement speaker.
Senator Reed delivered remarks at an event celebrating the removal of the White Rock Dam from the Pawcatuck River in Westerly. The project was completed with federal funds as part of a $1.98 million cooperative agreement between the Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and several other organizations. Reed led efforts to secure federal funds for the project during his time as Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee to help reduce the risk of future flood threats, reopen the river to migrating fish and other aquatic species, and preserve recreational opportunities. Now that the White Rock Dam has been removed, miles of impounded water will be restored to a free-flowing river. Last month, Senator Reed introduced the High Hazard Potential Small Dam Safety Act, a bipartisan bill with Senator Capito that would help states remove and repair aging dams whose failure could be life-threatening.
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