Energy and Water Appropriations Bill Clears Senate and Heads For President’s Desk

Washington, D.C. – Working to improve Oregon’s
waterways and alternative energy technology capabilities, U.S. Senators Ron
Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced today that the Energy and
Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act is on its way to the
President’s desk for signature. The bill, which includes nearly $200 million in
projects for Oregon and the Northwest, has been approved by both the House and
the Senate. The bill also includes millions in funding for energy programs –
such as $50 million for wave and tidal energy research – that are very
important to Oregon.

“These funds will improve Oregon’s ports, making them more accessible
for commerce and better positioned to create and preserve jobs,” Wyden
said. “The bill will also advance alternative energy technology, helping to
keep Oregon at the forefront of this important new industry, and restore
watersheds to help conserve water resources.”

“We have an opportunity to not only transform the way we use energy
but also create sustainable jobs for generations,” said Merkley. 
“These funds will help revitalize our fisheries and put people to work
developing innovative clean energy technologies that will reduce our dependence
on foreign oil.”

This bill will now head to the President’s desk for his signature.  

Some of the appropriations in the bill include:

Coos Bay Maintenance Dredging & Jetty Repair – $4,904,000

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- $1,701,000
Funding will contribute to the annual maintenance dredging needed of
Yaquina Bay and Harbor.

Port of Umpqua Maintenance Dredging and Jetty Evaluation and Repair-

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.

Geothermal Power Generation Plant- $1,000,000
Funds will help to complete construction of an approximately
1 megawatt geothermal power plant on the Oregon Institute of Technology campus.
It will serve as a demonstration and educational training facility for OIT
students and faculty.

Green Building Research Laboratory- $1,000,000
This project will fund a joint university-industry
laboratory at Portland State University to develop and test new green building
technologies, provide workforce training, and facilitate the adoption of energy
efficient technology throughout the building industry.

Willamette Falls Locks- $918,000
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.

Coastal Data Information Program – Waves and Beaches –

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- $864,000
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.

Rogue River Maintenance Dredging, Gold Beach- $736,000
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

Deschutes Project Water Conservation- $692,000
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

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.

Coquille River (Port of Bandon) Maintenance Dredging-

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.

Willamette River Environmental Dredging- $381,000
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.

Tualatin Basin Water Supply Project- $236,000
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.  

General Investigations, Walla Walla Watershed, OR & WA- $170,000
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.

Amazon Creek General Investigation Feasibility Study-

This funding will begin the process of planning for the continuing
Amazon Creek General Investigation Study for the restoration of Amazon Creek.

Various Projects at Depoe Bay- $112,000
Funding will be used to perform necessary project condition surveys,
guide wall monitoring, and environmental compliance for maintenance dredging.

Water for Irrigation Streams and Economy (WISE) FS/EIS,
Oregon- $100,000

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.

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:

·        $80,693,000 for Columbia River Fish
·        $23,278,000 for Columbia & Lower
Willamette River Below Vancouver

·        $13,220,000 for Bonneville Lock and

·        $12,302,000 for Columbia River at the
·        $9,883,000 for Surveillance of
Northern Boundary Waters

·        $8,459,000 for John Day Lock and Dam
·        $6,783,000 for McNary Lock & Dam
·        $3,469,000 for Green Peter – Foster
·        $3,455,000 for Lost Creek Lake
·        $2,629,000 for Lookout point Lake
·        $2,245,000 for Fern Ridge Lake

·        $1,771,000 for Fall Creek Lake
·        $1,559,000 for Lower Columbia River
Ecosystem Restoration, Construction
·        $1,503,000 for Cougar Lake
·        $1,417,000 for Lower Snake River Fish
and Wildlife Comp

·        $1,237,000 for Applegate Lake
·        $1,102,000 for Dorena Lake
·        $1,074,000 for Cottage Grove Lake
·        $902,000 for Detroit Lake
·        $801,000 for Hills Creek Lake

·        $801,000 for SS Crooked River FIS 
·        $674,000 for Columbia River at Baker
·        $655,000 for Columbia River between
Vancouver, Wa. and The Dalles, Or.
·        $647,000 for Siuslaw River
·        $604,000 for Inspection of Completed
·        $472,000 for Elk Creek Lake
·        $472,000 for Columbia River Treaty
Fishing Access Sites

·        $137,000 for Willamette River
Floodplain Restoration

·        $251,000 for Lower Columbia River
Ecosystem Restoration, Investigations
·        $190,000 for Project Condition Surveys

·        $100,000 for General Investigations –
Umatilla Basin Water Supply Project

·        $34,000 for Inspection of Completed
Environmental Projects
·        $6,000 for the Skipanon Channel