U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) today announced that the Senate has approved legislation that would authorize repairs and replacements for aging Tennessee dams and locks, revitalize riverfront developments, bolster flood control efforts and aid more than a dozen state water quality projects.
“This bill is exactly the legislation we need because its sets the appropriate funding limits,” Alexander said. “The way to keep down wasteful Washington spending is to pass an authorization bill like this one that sets limits on what Congress should spend. Within those limits are vitally important energy and water projects for the people of Tennessee such as Knoxville-area wastewater infrastructure projects, keeping Wolf Creek Dam safe and providing clean drinking water in small towns like Blaine, Tennessee.”
“The water related infrastructure projects in this bill help drive commerce across our state, provide essential services to Tennesseans, promote public safety and protect the environment,” said Corker. “While I wish this legislation established broader efficiency guidelines within the Army Corps process, authorization of these projects is long overdue.”
The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 authorizes funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and helps provide the Corps with the confidence to make long-term contract agreements and allocate their budget efficiently. This legislation must now be sent to the president to be signed into law.
Projects in the bill for the Second Congressional District include:
-The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized to provide assistance through contract, cooperative agreements, and grants to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for establishment and operation of the Southeastern Water Resources Institute to study sustainable development and utilization of water resources in the Southeastern United States;
-Support to prevent flooding and flood damage in Lenoir City and planning in consultation with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
-$40 million for the Blount, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Monroe and Sevier for design and construction assistance for water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection and development projects;
-$500,000 for Knoxville for debris removal along the Tennessee River;
-$16 million for the City of Athens for wastewater infrastructure; and
-$5 million for clean drinking water supply and wastewater treatment infrastructure in and around Knoxville.
Alexander sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which approved the legislation in April.