Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who helped establish the House Defense Communities Caucus and end a long-running dispute delaying the transfer of Kansas Army Ammunition Plant to the community, has been selected to receive ADC’s Congressional Leadership Award.
Jenkins helped launched the Defense Communities Caucus in the House in March 2011 with Rep. Sam Farr (Calif.) to advance issues facing communities with active or closed installations. The bipartisan group of House lawmakers provides a unified voice for the hundreds of communities that host active and closed installations, supports those communities in their efforts to assist service members and their families, and raises awareness of the unique issues and challenges facing defense communities.
The caucus now serves multiple roles — promoting a dialogue on defense community issues, serving as a liaison between Congress, DOD and the private sector, and advancing legislation to strengthen defense communities.
The three-term representative supported the Great Plains Development Authority during critical junctures in the authority’s arduous effort to recover from the closure of the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant and negotiate an economic development conveyance with the Army to obtain more than half of the facility’s acreage.
On many occasions, Jenkins intervened during one of the principal hurdles to the property transfer from going ahead — a dispute between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army over the need to remediate pesticides in the soil. Jenkins, working with other members of the state’s congressional delegation, used the power of her office to urge the EPA regional director and the agency’s administrator in Washington to resolve the disagreement.
Award winners will be recognized at a special ceremony on Capitol Hill next week during the Defense Communities National Summit.