U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bob Corker (R-TN) and U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) 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 the East Nashville Basin’s wastewater infrastructure projects, keeping Wolf Creek Dam safe, revitalizing the Nashville riverfront 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.”
“These projects will receive funding at a crucial moment for Middle Tennessee,” said Cooper. “Wolf Creek Dam continues to need repairs in order to protect areas downstream, including downtown Nashville, from a devastating flood. Meanwhile, we can improve the quality of life for all Middle Tennesseans by providing new recreational opportunities, redeveloping our waterfront while protecting the environment, and strengthening the infrastructure that keeps water safe and clean. This goes to show Congress can both be fiscally responsible and do work that makes a positive difference in our communities.”
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 Fifth Congressional District include:
-A study on how to provide riverbank protection and environmental protection while carrying out recreation on the Cumberland River in Nashville;
-Provides that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shall plan, design and construct a trail system at the J. Percy Priest Lake:
-$10 million for the Nashville Riverfront Redevelopment project;
-$5 million for water supply and wastewater infrastructure projects in the East Nashville Basin;
-Support for Wolf Creek Dam repairs being classified as necessary for safety, continued efforts to maintain power production and efforts to prevent seepage and dam failure; and
-Lifts the land use restrictions for camping and recreation on land transferred to Easter Seals Tennessee next to the Cumberland River.
Alexander sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which approved the legislation in April.