$39 Million for Minnesota Energy and Water Projects Clears Committee

Monday, July 13th, 2009 at 5:53 am

Washington, D.C. – Continuing her efforts to secure funding for important statewide initiatives, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that over $39 million in energy and water projects has cleared a major hurdle by passing the Senate Appropriations Committee. The projects, included in the Energy and Water appropriations bill, will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration.

“In the land of 10,000 lakes, we value our natural resources,” said Klobuchar.  “These programs will help protect our environment, ensure our citizens have clean drinking water and help communities threatened by flood waters avoid catastrophe.”

Minnesota energy and water initiatives in the bill include:

* $2.5 million to fund a construction project that will help protect Roseau against a 100-year flood to the city.  This project involves the construction of a 3-mile flood diversion channel on the east side of the city.  The Roseau River flood diversion would provide capacity for excess flows down the Roseau River to be diverted down a 150-foot wide channel to the north side of Roseau where the Roseau River and the flood diversion would reunite.  Klobuchar provided $500,000 last year for this project.  The project also received $4.6 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

* $3.05 million to fund feasibility studies devoted to the development of flood prevention projects that will protect communities and residents across the Red River of the North basin, and reduce costs of recovery after a flood event.  The Red River of the North basin includes parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Manitoba.

* $5 million the fund a flood damage reduction project in Breckenridge.  The project includes a diversion channel and a system of levees to protect the city from flood related damages, and these funds will be used to award the final stage of levee construction.  Klobuchar provided $4 million in appropriations funding last year.

* $2,617,000 to complete the flood control project at the Red River of the North – Grand Forks/East Grand Forks, which will provide needed flood prevention for the surrounding community.  The project is nearly complete and funding will close it out entirely after the devastating floods of 1997.  This project received $383,000 in funding last year.

* $215,000 for a Minnehaha Creek Watershed Feasibility Study.  The study will focus on: the preservation and enhancement of the watershed ecosystem; the preservation, protection and restoration of the natural habitat, appearance, and function of riparian/shoreline/wetland ecosystems; and the improvement of creek water quality.

* $9 million for a program to improve navigation efficiency and environmental restoration efforts on the Upper Mississippi River.  This program works to ensure economic and environmental sustainability of the Upper Mississippi River System.  It aims to reduce commercial traffic delays and protect and restore the environment.

* $1 million for the Plasma Gasification Waste-To-Energy facility in Koochiching County that converts municipal solid wastes into energy and other marketable solid by-products in an environmentally sound manner. The Renewable Energy Clean Air Project (RECAP) would use the funds would be used to conduct a feasibility study to assess technical, economic and environmental matters.  In FY 2009 Klobuchar secured $951,500 for this project.

* $16 million for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System.  Along with senators from South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, Klobuchar announced further federal funding allocations for the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System.  The funding would be for the construction of a water pipeline that will provide clean water from the Missouri River to over 300,000 people in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa through its 20 member cities and rural water systems.  In FY 2009, Klobuchar helped secured $27 million for this project. Additionally, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has provided $56.5 million in funding.

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