August 03, 2009

Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Passes Senate with Projects Requested by Wyden/Merkley

Oregon Dredging and Alternative Energy Projects Included in Bill

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D- Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D- Ore.) announced today that efforts to improve Oregon's waterways and alternative energy technology capabilities took a huge step forward when an energy and water appropriations bill was passed by the full Senate. The bill includes more than $280 million in projects for Oregon and the Northwest.

"This is a good day for those looking to create or preserve jobs in Oregon," Wyden said. "These funds are needed to make Oregon's ports more accessible to commerce and improve advances in alternative energy technology. The passage of this bill is a huge step toward that goal."

"The Oregon projects funded by this bill will create jobs, support water resources, and bolster renewable energy technology in our state," Merkley said. "By funding major dredging projects, conservation projects, and clean energy initiatives like the Oregon Solar Highway, these appropriations enhance Oregon's water resources and our position as a leader in clean energy production."

The bill will be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives and then sent to the President for his signature. Funding will only be available at the end of the process.

Some of the appropriations in the bill include:

Coos Bay Maintenance Dredging & Jetty Repair - $5,495,000
This project will perform annual maintenance dredging and emergency repairs to the jetty. Maintenance dredging is essential if the Port is to continue to serve the vessels and barges currently calling at Coos Bay. A significant breach would have major impacts on navigation and would prohibit any useful function of the jetty.

Yaquina Bay Maintenance Dredging- $1,790,000
Funding will contribute to the annual maintenance dredging needed of Yaquina Bay and Harbor.

Port of Umpqua Maintenance Dredging and Jetty Evaluation and Repair- $1,174,000
Funding for this project will dredge the port of Umpqua for safe transit of commercial and recreational vessels. Funding is also requested for an evaluation report for the port's failing jetties.

Oregon Solar Highway - $1,000,000
This appropriation will fund ODOT's Solar Highway initiative to demonstrate the technical and financial feasibility of large-scale deployment of solar photovoltaic technology along highways.

Coastal Data Information Program - Waves and Beaches - $1,000,000
This project measures, models, and forecasts ocean waves, and disseminates the information in real-time to the National Weather Service and to more than 80,000 users per day via the internet. Wave data from CDIP's Umpqua buoy - located just outside of Coos Bay - provide timely information on ocean conditions for the marine community at large. It also provides the unit with adequate classroom and administrative space for training and operations for homeland security, anti-terrorism, and force protection.

Chetco River Maintenance Dredging- $909,000
Funding will dredge the Port of Brookings Harbor, providing a safe and reliable entrance to the Port. Without this dredging, the surrounding community could lose millions of dollars from commercial and sport fishing, as well as numerous jobs that depend on the Port being dredged.

Willamette Falls Locks- $831,000
This project will fund the ongoing operations and repair of one or more lock gates at Willamette Falls. The Corps of Engineers recently began a required inspection of the locks, but there is no funding for significant repairs or for replacement of lock gates. In addition, this funding will provide for the regular program operation of the locks, keeping them open to recreational, commercial, and industrial traffic.

Rogue River Maintenance Dredging, Gold Beach- $565,000
Funding will go to the Port of Gold Beach to dredge the entrance channel to its authorized depth of 13 feet. It will also fund pipeline dredging, boat basin and disposal site evaluation, and evaluation of the north and south jetty.

Lane Community College Energy Demonstration Building- $550,000
Lane Community College's Center for Energy Trans­form­ation supports sustainable energy and water use in a commercial setting. The center serves local, regional, statewide, and national education, workforce and business needs through energy efficiency and renewable energy workforce training by advancing renewable energy technologies, training, and business opportunities. Funding would pay for equipment to make this project possible.

Wallowa County Integrated Biomass Energy Center- $500,000
This funding will be used to design and construct an integrated renewable energy facility utilizing woody biomass from public and private forest land, county landfills and other industrial waste to produce electricity and densified thermal products.

Deschutes Project Water Conservation- $500,000
This funding will give the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation the ability to award larger grants to the Deschutes Basin irrigation districts to continue efforts to lay pipe and line open irrigation canals. This will conserve water, reduce electricity, and increase in-stream flows for federally listed fisheries.

Coquille River (Port of Bandon) Maintenance Dredging- $339,000
This funding will dredge the entrance channel to the depth of 13 feet to continue to serve the vessels and barges that use the port.

Amazon Creek General Investigation Feasibility Study- $320,000
This funding will begin the process of planning for the continuing Amazon Creek General Investigation Study for the restoration of Amazon Creek.

Tualatin Basin Water Supply Project- $300,000
The Tualatin Basin Water Supply Project will explore solutions for meeting the growing municipal, industrial, agricultural, and environmental water demands of Washington County. Water suppliers will be unable to meet public water supply needs unless additional sources are available by 2012. The economy, environment and quality of life in this region are dependent on long-term, reliable water sources for the future.

Willamette River Environmental Dredging- $215,000
This funding will pursue ecological restoration and contaminated sediment clean-up in the Lower Willamette River. This will make substantial improvements to the ecological functioning of the River.

General Investigations, Walla Walla Watershed, OR & WA- $203,000
Co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, the Walla Walla River Basin Feasibility Report/Environmental Impact Statement will evaluate and recommend alternatives to achieve the restoration and management of a viable ecosystem within the Walla Walla River Basin.

Water for Irrigation Streams and Economy (WISE) FS/EIS, Oregon- $200,000
This funding will complete the federally required Feasibility Study & Environmental Impact Statement (FS/EIS) for the WISE Project in order to dramatically improve the water resources infrastructure within the Bear Creek and Little Butte Creek watersheds in Jackson County.

Various Projects at Depoe Bay- $118,000
Funding will be used to perform necessary project condition surveys, guide wall monitoring, and environmental compliance for maintenance dredging.

Tillamook Bay and Bar- $48,000
This project would repair and restore the Tillamook Bay Jetties that have experienced damage to jetty head, trunks and north jetty root.

Port Orford Maintenance Dredging and Breakwater Repair- $38,000
This funding will remove 40,000 cubic yards of sand from the Federal Navigation Channel at the Port of Port Orford to provide sufficient water depths in the harbor, giving boats the ability to launch and fish.

Other project approvals include:

· $85,000,000 for Columbia River Fish Mitigation
· $24,495,000 for Columbia & Lower Willamette River Below Vancouver
· $13,911,000 for Bonneville Lock and Dam
· $12,945,000 for Columbia River at the Mouth
· $10,400,000 for Surveillance of Northern Boundary Waters
· $8,901,000 for John Day Lock and Dam
· $7,137,000 for McNary Lock & Dam
· $3,650,000 for Green Peter - Foster Lakes
· $3,636,000 for Lost Creek Lake
· $2,766,000 for Lookout point Lake
· $2,362,000 for Fern Ridge Lake
· $1,864,000 for Fall Creek Lake
· $1,650,000 for Lower Columbia River Ecosystem Restoration
· $1,582,000 for Cougar Lake
· $1,500,000 for Lower Snake River Fish and Wildlife Comp
· $1,302,000 for Applegate Lake
· $1,160,000 for Dorena Lake
· $1,130,000 for Cottage Grove Lake
· $940,000 for Detroit Lake
· $843,000 for Hills Creek Lake
· $727,000 for Columbia River at Baker Bay
· $689,000 for Columbia River between Vancouver
· $647,000 for Siuslaw River
· $636,000 for Inspection of Completed Works
· $500,000 for Elk Creek Lake
· $500,000 for Columbia River Treaty Fishing Access Sites
· $300,000 for Lower Columbia River Ecosystem Restoration
· $240,000 for Willamette River Floodplain Restoration
· $200,000 for Project Condition Surveys
· $200,000 for PAS Nehalem River ODOT Flood Mapping
· $160,000 for SS City of John Day
· $155,000 for SS Wahkiakum (Gray's River)
· $150,000 for General Investigations - Umatilla Basin Water Supply Project
· $140,000 for SS Crooked River FIS
· $130,000 for SS Wahkiakum Co. FIS. Elochoman Creek
· $128,000 for SS Wahkiakum Co. FIS. Skamokawa Creek
· $128,000 for SS Wahkiakum Co. FIS. Wilson Creek
· $69,000 for Scheduling Reservoir Operations
· $60,000 PAS City of Medford Floodplain
· $35,000 for the Portland Balanced Cut and Fill Study
· $34,000 for Inspection of Completed Environmental Projects
· $30,000 for Toutle River Radio Tracking
· $27,000 for PAS Boone Nute Slough
· $6,000 for the Skipanon Channel