PNWA Nor'wester #225 � Tuesday, July 12, 2005

 

Senate passes E&W Appropriations, includes language addressing Minimum Dredge Fleet

WRDA scheduled for House action this week

PNWA meets with House Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson

Spilling water at Snake River dam hinders adult salmon

Senate passes E&W Appropriations, includes language addressing Minimum Dredge Fleet

 

On Friday, July 1st, the Senate successfully passed their FY2006 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.As PNWA has previously reported, the Senate bill sets Corps funding for FY2006 at $5.29 billion, which is a sizable increase over the House level of $4.7 billion and the President�s budget request of $4.5 billion.

 

PNWA worked hard to secure the increased funding the Senate provided over the House and the President�s budget for several PNWA supported projects, including $17 million for the jetties at the Mouth of the Columbia, $1.5 million for the Elliott Bay Seawall in Seattle, $348,000 for the Port of Bandon (Coquille River), $1.5 million for Port of Garibaldi�s Tillamook Bay and Bar jetty repair, $679,000 for Port of Umpqua maintenance dredging, and $1.0 million each for maintenance at the Ports of Ilwaco (Columbia River at Baker Bay) and Chinook (Columbia River between Chinook and Sand Island).  Another $150,000 was appropriated for a Baker Bay siltation study.For a detailed view of the region�s project funding levels, view PNWA�s updated appropriations matrix at http://pnwa.net/content/issues.aspx.

 

The Senate also included language to remove operating restrictions from all federal dredges, and included a requirement to keep them up to technologically modern and efficient standards.This is an outstanding development with regard to PNWA�s efforts on behalf of the two federal hopper dredges stationed on the west coast, the Essayons and Yaquina.As noted in earlier Nor�westers, PNWA successfully lobbied for language in the 2005 Senate Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill (S.728) reported out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to remove operating restrictions from the Essayons and Yaquina.Given that WRDA has not yet passed the full House or Senate, we are pleased that language has been included in the Senate appropriations bill.

 

The House and Senate versions of H.R. 2419 will now go to a conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills.The Senate has named their conferees, and PNWA is pleased to report that Senators Conrad Burns (R-MT), Larry Craig (R-ID) and Patty Murray (D-WA) will be a part of the conference committee.

 

PNWA staff contact: Kristin Meira, kristin.meira@pnwa.net, 503-234-8556

 

WRDA scheduled for House action this week

H.R. 2864, the Water Resources Development Act of 2005 (WRDA), which was unanimously approved by the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment on June 16th, is scheduled to head to the House floor this Wednesday or Thursday for a roll call vote.The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed their version of WRDA in April (S.728), but that bill has not yet been passed by the full Senate.  Eventually, both bills will move on to conference in order to resolve their differences.  For a full listing of the provisions PNWA is supporting in both H.R.2864 and S.728, please visit http://pnwa.net/content/issues.aspx.

WRDA is the legislation that authorizes hundreds of navigation improvement, flood protection and environmental restoration projects, project modifications and investigations to be undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  It is typically biennial legislation, however the last WRDA passed in Congress was in 2000.

PNWA staff contact: Kristin Meira, kristin.meira@pnwa.net, 503-234-8556

 

 

PNWA meets with House Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson

 

Last Thursday, PNWA was pleased to host a dinner with House Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman David Hobson (R, OH-7).Glenn Vanselow and Kristin Meira of PNWA arranged the meeting, and attendees included USACE HQ and Northwestern Division staff, House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee professional staff, and three PNWA members representing the Columbia Snake River System, Puget Sound, and the Oregon Coast.

 

PNWA staff and members were pleased to present our views and hear the Chairman�s thoughts on reprogramming, continuing contracts, performance measures, five-year planning for Corps project funding, Section 214 permit funding authority, the federal hopper dredge fleet, and the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.We are excited to have formed a closer working relationship with the Chairman and his staff, and look forward to a productive partnership on Corps funding issues in the future.

 

PNWA staff contact: Kristin Meira, kristin.meira@pnwa.net, 503-234-8556

 

Spilling water at Snake River dam hinders adult salmon

 

Just days after the beginning of the court-ordered spill of water at the Snake River Dams, it had to be reduced because the massive spill prevented returning adults from reaching the ladders at Little Goose Dam. The federal agencies consulted with National Wildlife Federation and the tribes and cut the spill in half at Little Goose. It appears that with the lower spill volume, adult salmon have resumed their up-river trip to their spawning grounds.

 

PNWA has advocated against these massive spill programs because they are not cost effective. Spill does little for fish�it may even harm them�and it is very expensive. The spill program proposed by the plaintiffs and ordered by Judge Redden was expected to reduce salmon survival by 26-48 percent compared to the actions proposed by the agencies, according to a declaration filed by Chris Toole, Assistant Regional Administrator for the Hydropower Division at NOAA-Fisheries.

 

PNWA staff contact: Glenn Vanselow, glenn.vanselow@pnwa.net, 503-234-8551

 

PACIFIC NORTHWEST WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION
9115 SW Oleson Road, Suite 101
Portland, Oregon 97223
Phone: 503-234-8550
Fax: 503-234-8555
www.pnwa.net

 

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