KITTERY, Maine — The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved a provision within the 2012 Defense Authorization bill that will require the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, as one of the nation’s four public shipyards, to submit an infrastructure funding plan for improvements at the shipyard.
The provision, which was authored by Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe and New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, will require a plan to be submitted to Congress by March 1, 2012.
“The men and women at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard have provided outstanding service in support of U.S. Naval operations for almost 200 years,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen in a press release about the provision. “Yet Portsmouth continues to suffer from lack of investment in critical infrastructure causing both a decrease in efficiency and hazardous working conditions.”
The provision comes as a result of a report issued in November 2010 by the Government Accountability Office. In the report, the GAO found that facility improvements at the nation’s four shipyards had been underestimated by as much as $513 million. Following this report in March 2011, the PNSY announced it would be investing $100 million in infrastructure improvements. In an effort to ensure that the PNSY, “a critical facility for our national defense,” according Shaheen spokesman Jonathan Lipman, was assessing the correct amount needed to upgrade its facilities, the three Senators authored this provision.
“I am pleased the committee supported our proposal to ensure that the Navy develops a plan to address the inadequate conditions of infrastructure at the nation’s shipyards, including Kittery-Portsmouth Naval Shipyard,” said Senator Olympia Snowe in a press release about the provision.
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