The Senate on Oct. 15 approved the $33.5 billion fiscal 2010 water and energy conference report by an 80-17 vote. The bill now goes to the president for his expected signature.

The energy and water bill is the third fiscal 2010 spending bill to be approved by a conference committee this fall. The Senate approved conference reports funding the legislative branch on September 30, and the Dept. of Agriculture on Oct. 8.

The energy and water bill includes $5.4 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, $43 million above the amount appropriated in fiscal 2009. The total includes $2 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction programs, including on-going flood protection efforts.

For the Dept. of Energy, the bill allocates $27.1 billion, $318 million above 2009 enacted levels. A total of $2.2 billion, $314 million above 2009 enacted levels, will be invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects; and $5.6 billion will be spent for environmental cleanup at historical nuclear weapons research and production activities.

The bill slashes funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, providing $197 million for more research into alternative mechanisms for nuclear waste disposal, $92 million below 2009 enacted levels.