October 11, 2012

The Honorable Barbara Boxer
Chairman
Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable James Inhofe
Ranking Member
Environment and Public Works Committee
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Boxer and Ranking Member Inhofe,

As the Committee continues its consideration of a Water Resources Development Act, I am writing to request support for the items listed on Attachment A. These are in addition to those items previously submitted to the Committee on May 18, 2010.

I certify that neither I nor my immediate family has a pecuniary interest in the items that I have requested, consistent with the requirements of paragraph 9 of Rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate. I further certify that I have posted a description of the items requested on my official website, along with the accompanying justification.

Thank you for your consideration of my requests. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me, or have your staff contact James Peterson in my office at (202) 224-3841.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

 

Attachment A

Natomas/American River Flood Control
Location: Sacramento, California
Local Sponsor: Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency
Total Project Cost: $1,389,500,000; requested federal share: $921,200,000

  • The Natomas Basin of the City of Sacramento and Sacramento and Sutter Counties has been determined to have inadequate flood protection (less than 100-year). Due to the urgent need to restore 100-year protection and to comply with the Statewide requirement for 200-year protection, State and local governments have financed and initiated work on the project, referred to locally as the "Natomas Levee Improvement Project." If funded, the project will widen 41.9 miles of existing levees, install 34.8 miles of soil bentonite cutoff wall, install 8.3 miles of seepage berms, and allow remediation of a bridge on State Route 99. Completion of this project would provide flood protection for 100,000 people, over 26,000 residences, and over $8 billion in damageable property.

Levee Vegetation Policy
Location: Nationwide
Local Sponsor: California Natural Resources Agency / Department of Water Resources
Total Project Cost: Not applicable

  • The Army Corps’ levee vegetation policy under Engineering Technical Letter No. 1110-2-571 prohibits vegetation on and near levees without providing hard evidence that the policy makes levees safer. The State of California has estimated the cost of clearing vegetation from its 2,100 miles of levees would be $7 billion. Removing vegetation could also result in the loss of habitat and increased water temperatures, potentially adversely impacting fish and bird species. The California Natural Resources Agency seeks inclusion of H.R. 5831, the Levee Vegetation Review Act of 2012, in WRDA to address their concerns with the Army Corps’ levee vegetation policy. The legislation would require the Secretary of the Army to comprehensively review the Army Corps’ levee vegetation policy, to provide recommendations and revised guidelines based on the stakeholder input and review by the National Academy of Engineering, and to offer regional and/or watershed variances to the policy where applicable.

Army Corps In-Kind Crediting Policy
Location: Nationwide
Local Sponsor: California Department of Water Resources / National Coalition of Flood Project Partners
Total Project Cost: Not applicable

  • A May 2011 Army Corps decision restricted flood control agencies from obtaining credit eligibility for early work they do on projects under study by the Corps. This decision forces flood control agencies to choose to either forfeit credit eligibility for the early work they do to advance a project, or delay all work until late in the study process, and can also result in local agencies having an increased cost share. The proposed language would restore non-federal sponsors’ credit eligibility for certain work, potentially providing California agencies up to $515.2 million of credit over the next 10 years. This would benefit flood control projects across the country and provide certainty to flood control projects that adhere to approved project standards.

Contra Costa Canal Flood Protection
Location: Contra Costa County, California
Local Sponsor: Contra Costa Water District
Total Project Cost: $96,500,000; increased authorization: $20,000,000

  • Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) seeks to increase the existing authorization in P.L. 110-114, Section 5158 from $23,000,000 to $43,000,000 (an additional $20,000,000) in order to complete the second phase of its flood control project, replacing 8 miles of levees with a buried pipeline. The federally-owned Contra Costa Canal was built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1940 to convey agricultural water to rural Contra Costa County. The area surrounding the Canal has been urbanized and the Canal is now the backbone of Contra Costa Water District's (CCWD) conveyance system, which provides water to over 550,000 people. The project will increase flood protection of a federal facility in an area that is projected to experience significant residential growth, increase public safety and security, improve drinking water quality, and improve reliability of CCWD 's transmission system.

West Stanislaus County, Orestimba Creek
Location: Stanislaus County, California
Local Sponsor: Stanislaus County
Total Project Cost: $40,000,000; requested federal share: $30,000,000

  • This project will construct flood control projects along Orestimba Creek necessary to achieve 100-year level flood protection. The existing creek channel is currently 10 feet deep, and offers only a three-year flood level protection. There have been 13 serious floods in the last 50 years, causing millions of dollars in damages to the City of Newman and the surrounding area. The Army Corps is expected to issue a Chiefs report for this project in July 2013.

San Francisco Bay to Stockton Ship Channel
Location: San Francisco Bay - Stockton, California
Local Sponsor: Port of Stockton
Total Project Cost: $141,000,000; requested federal share: $106,000,000

  • The Port of Stockton seeks to increase the existing authorization in P.L. 89-298, Section 301 from $46,853,000 to $106,000,000 (an additional $59,147,000) in order to deepen a the Stockton Deep Water Channel to 40 feet and realign the channel through False River and across the northern portion of Franks Tract. This project would allow deep-draft vessels access to the inland Port of Stockton, alleviate traffic at the Port of Oakland, and reduce land-based congestion. The existing navigation channel depths between San Francisco Bay and the Port of Stockton are inadequate for deep-draft waterborne commerce and military vessel movement.

Big Bear Lake Water System Infrastructure Improvements
Location: Big Bear Lake, California
Local Sponsor: City of Big Bear Lake
Total Project Cost: $12,000,000; requested federal share: $9,000,000

  • The City of Big Bear Lake seeks to modify P.L. 110-114, Section 5158, which authorized funding for construction of a water recycling project, in order to construct water pipeline and storage improvements that provide greater firefighting benefits. Currently 54% of the city’s pipelines are undersized and not in compliance with the State’s firefighting flow requirements. This amendment would modify the existing authorization to instead allow replacement of 181,000 feet (out of 500,000 feet) of undersized water main lines, and to add water storage capacity. The modified project would also reduce the authorization level from $15,000,000 to $12,000,000.

Encinitas-Solana Beach Shoreline Protection Project
Location: San Diego County, California
Local Sponsor: City of Solana Beach
Total Project Cost: $165,000,000

  • This project will stabilize approximately 3.4 miles of prized Encinitas and Solana Beach shoreline by adding approximately 1.64 million cubic yards of sand to prevent further erosion and bluff failures. Another 3.77 million cubic yards of sand will be added over the next 50 years to sustain 200 additional feet of beach in Solana Beach and 100 feet of beach in Encinitas. This work will protect the public against sudden bluff collapses, protect approximately 500 homes on top of the bluff, prevent an estimated $100 million in damages, preserve beach recreation opportunities, and prevent piecemeal approaches to shoring up bluffs below each home. The Army Corps is expected to issue a Chiefs report for this project by summer 2013.

San Clemente Shoreline Restoration Project
Location: San Clemente, California
Local Sponsor: City of San Clemente
Total Project Cost: $96,000,000

  • This project will stabilize approximately 3,400 feet of shoreline around San Clemente Pier through an initial deposit of 251,000 cubic yards of sand and renourishment approximately every six years for the next 50 years. The project will prevent erosion that could threaten commercial properties, city infrastructure, coastal residences, and a portion of the primary rail corridor between Los Angeles and San Diego. The Army Corps issued a Chiefs report for this project in April 2012.