The projects are part of the Fiscal Year 2007 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which would fund $30.5 billion for FY07 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Interior, the Department of Energy, and several Independent Agencies. Funding in this bill includes: $24.37 billion for the Department of Energy ($5.55 billion for Defense Environmental Management; $9.2 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration; and $2.02 billion for energy supply and conservation); $4.98 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers; $901 million for the Department of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation; and $228 million for several Independent Agencies.
The local projects include $8.4 million for the Corps of Engineers to complete the construction of the Rio Salado Project and $2 million for Tres Rios construction, Pastor said. Pastor has been instrumental in securing House support for the projects. He represents Arizona's Fourth Congressional District and is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, with a seat on its Energy and Water Development Subcommittee.
"The Rio Salado revitalization project opened last year and this funding will help us complete its construction," Pastor said. "I'm extremely proud of this project as it is providing a peaceful, environmentally-sound refuge for people and wildlife in the central city. The benefits range from environmental restoration to flood control to economic development. I'm pleased that my colleagues support our effort in the Valley to restore the Salt River bed."
The bill will next move to the Senate.
Funding is included for the following Valley-related projects:
- $8.4 million to complete construction for the Rio Salado Project in the Phoenix/Tempe area. This is a project by the Army Corps of Engineers to restore and revitalize the Salt River and nearby areas while also controlling the flood zones with proper channels. By creating a waterway through the connection of a series of lakes and streams, this project will produce waterside parks and open public spaces while restoring the riparian habitat.
- $2 million for construction of the Tres Rios Project, designed to reclaim and reuse the effluent flow from a Phoenix-area wastewater treatment plant using a series of constructed wetlands along a seven-mile stretch of the Salt River to the confluence of the Gila and Agua Fria rivers. An additional $473,000 would allow the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct research and development activities, and to provide a "test bed" for the development of several riparian and Sonoran habitat restoration projects in the Phoenix area. The wetland demonstration area provides a laboratory to monitor specific functions such as water movement, vegetation impact and surveys of habitat wildlife.
- $250,000 for the for the Rio Salado Oeste project that connects the Rio Salado and Tres Rios projects. The funding would allow the Corps to continue feasibility studies to examine habitat restoration needs in conjunction with flood control, water quality and recreation along additional reaches of the Salt River. The cost of the feasibility studies will be shared on a 50/50 basis between the Corps and the city of Phoenix. The project connects the Rio Salado Project at 19th Avenue with the Tres Rios Project at 83rd Avenue.
- $198,000 for Phoenix Metropolitan Reclamation and Reuse, known as the Agua Fria Groundwater Recharge Project. This is a water reclamation and reuse project along the Agua Fria River that also incorporates a portion of the outflow from the seven-mile Tres Rios project. The Phoenix metropolitan area currently has three main sources of water all of which will be fully developed in the near future. The region is working cooperatively with the Bureau of Reclamation to develop new sources of water and to find ways to lessen the impact of population growth on groundwater resources. Recharging water into the aquifer is one way to slow the decline in groundwater levels.
- $500,000 for the Arizona Blue Stake/Miss Utility Underground Imaging Pilot Program.This is a high-tech imaging method used by power companies to locate buried infrastructure in several dimensions without excavation.
In addition to water and energy projects, Pastor expects the approval of $300,000 in funding from the Department of Energy to help expand the ACE (Achieving a College Education) Program in the Maricopa Community Colleges. ACE is a successful high school dropout prevention program offered by the Maricopa Community Colleges.