July 23, 2009

Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to Include Funding for Alternative Energy and Dredging Projects

Appropriations Will Create Jobs and Improve Access to the State's Ports

Washington, D.C. - Working to improve access to Oregon's waterways and to maintain its standing as a leader in alternative energy technology, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D- Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D- Ore.) announced that an energy and water appropriations bill headed to the Senate floor includes more than $278 million in projects for Oregon and the Northwest.

"Creating and preserving Oregon jobs, whether through advances in alternative energy technology or by making Oregon's ports more accessible to commerce, will boost Oregon's economy," Wyden said. "These are funds that are needed on the ground right now."

"If we are going to turn this struggling economy around we must lay the groundwork for a clean energy economy and put folks back to work restoring our crumbling infrastructure," said Merkley. "These funds will help boost the development of solar power and renewable energy from our forests, promote energy efficiency, preserve endangered fisheries and provide critical maintenance for our ports."

The bill will be considered by the full Senate and upon passage will be reconciled with the version passed by the House of Representatives and 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:

Oregon Solar Highway $1,000,000

This appropriation will fundODOT's Solar Highway initiative to demonstrate the technical and financial feasibility of large-scale deployment of solar photovoltaic technology along highways.

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. Repair of the jetty is essential. A significant breach would have major impacts on navigation and would prohibit any useful function of the jetty.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Other project approvals include:

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