FINAL APPROVAL IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF MORE THAN $6 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR WATER PROJECTS IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA, INCLUDING NEARLY $1.5 MILLION FOR LOS ANGELES RIVER REVITALIZATION
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FINAL APPROVAL IN THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF MORE THAN $6 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR WATER PROJECTS IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA, INCLUDING NEARLY $1.5 MILLION FOR LOS ANGELES RIVER REVITALIZATION

Washington, DC – October 1, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34) applauded passage in the U.S. House of Representatives today of the appropriations bill that provides federal funding for critical local water projects in the Los Angeles area.

The Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Act (HR 3183), which makes key investments nationwide in water infrastructure as well as energy and environmental programs, passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 308 to 114.  The final measure now heads to the U.S. Senate for final passage – expected next week – before being sent to the President who is expected to sign the legislation into law.

“I am proud to have led the effort to secure more than $6 million for important water initiatives in the Los Angeles area, including federal funding for the start of a long-awaited Los Angeles River Demonstration Project,” said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, who is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.  “The demonstration project funding is a crucial step forward in revitalizing the Los Angeles River.  These are the first funds dedicated to the actual construction work based on the results of previously funded studies.  All the hard work by the Army Corps of Engineers, our local leaders, and Congress is starting to pay off and we are one step closer to turning the LA River into a symbol of civic pride for all Angelenos.”

Plans for the 31 miles of the Los Angeles River include the development of parks, green space, pedestrian walkways, bridges, housing, and various economic development projects that will create jobs while maintaining the river’s vital function of flood control for the community.  The congresswoman led efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives and worked with U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to secure a $25 million authorization for Los Angeles River projects. The authorization ensures the long-term federal commitment to revitalize the blighted areas along the Los Angeles River and enables Congress to consider annual federal funding for new construction projects for river restoration and maintenance.  From Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s seat on the Appropriations Committee, she has successfully secured federal funds annually for Los Angeles River revitalization improvements, totaling more than $6.2 million in recent years.

Today’s final passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the legislation includes the following funding for local projects:

• $717,000 for the Los Angeles River Revitalization Study to build upon the existing Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Study for the Los Angeles County Drainage area, which is consistent with the City’s Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan;

• $100,000 for Los Angeles River Demonstration Project which will be used to actually begin the process of evaluating new high-tech materials as alternatives to concrete, test effectiveness of wetlands for runoff management and water quality improvements, and assess methods to sustain different vegetation types;

• $332,000 for the Los Angeles River Watercourse Headworks which will be used to continue the Feasibility Study for eco-system and habitat restoration and to develop and evaluate potential restoration alternatives in the Headworks area;

• $484,000 for the Harbor/South Bay Water Recycling Project which will be used to develop up to 48,000 acre-feet of recycled water for municipal, industrial, and environmental uses in the Los Angeles area.  The project is a cooperative effort between the Corps of Engineers and West Basin Municipal Water District;

• $3.5 million for the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund, which will be used to contain and treat the spreading of groundwater contamination in the San Gabriel and Central Groundwater Basins.  The demonstration project will be used to construct a 12-mile pipeline of recycled water that will serve the cities of Vernon and Commerce, East Los Angeles and other neighboring areas;

• $314,000 for the Sun Valley Watershed Feasibility Study to continue the feasibility study for the Sun Valley Watershed, consistent with County of Los Angeles’ Sun Valley Watershed Management Plan;

• $224,000 for the Arroyo Seco Watershed Feasibility Study to continue the feasibility study for the Arroyo Seco Watershed with the focus on flood control and eco-system restoration;

• $224,000 for Lower Ballona Creek Environmental Restoration to continue the feasibility study of the Ballona Creek Watershed. The study will evaluate habitat restoration, improvements to water quality, trash migration, recreation and related issues along the lower reach of Ballona Creek; and

• $134,000 for the Whittier Narrows Dam Feasibility Study to enable the Corps to complete the required environmental documentation and update the Los Angeles County Drainage Area Water Conservation and Supply Santa Fe-Whittier Narrows Dams Feasibility Study completed by the Corps in 2000, and receive formal management/command approval to change operations.

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