Press Releases

Senate Panel Approves FY 2009 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

- Bill includes millions for California priorities -

Washington, DC – The Fiscal Year 2009 Energy and Water appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee includes millions for important California levee restoration, flood control, wetlands restoration and water supply and storage projects, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced today.

This includes:

  • $42 million for CalFed Account; and
  • $179.3 million for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects to improve flood control and restore wetlands throughout California; including $71.9 million for Sacramento/Delta levee restoration and protection projects.

The bill also includes $1.5 million for the Placer County Biomass Facility, which will be used to produce energy from hazardous fuels, like dead and dying trees, removed from around the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“California is facing serious water challenges on a number of fronts – including threats to the stability of the San Joaquin Delta, the health of our fisheries, crumbling flood control, the health of Lake Tahoe, and a State water infrastructure system that is woefully out of date,” Senator Feinstein said. “The federal assistance included in this bill will help shore up our State’s aging levees, fund wetlands restoration projects, and increase much-needed water supply for our communities. The funding will also help complete studies that will inform the major decisions that we must make soon about the future of the Delta, the health of our rivers, and the long-term steps needed to modernize our water infrastructure.”

The following is a partial list of programs and projects with significance for California:


  • $42 million for the CalFed Account
  • $56 million for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund

San Joaquin River Restoration Fund:

  • $9.5 million for the Bureau of Reclamation to undertake studies and preliminary work on how to begin to restore the San Joaquin River and provide adequate flood control for surrounding farms and residences, as well as ways to mitigate water losses for the Friant Water Users Authority.

* These funds will be available for the Bureau of Reclamation to use under existing authorities. The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (S.27) was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on June 25, and the companion measure (H.R.4074) was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee on May 13. 

Army Corps of Engineers

“This summer, we witnessed the disastrous results as communities throughout the Midwest fell victim to inadequate flood control. That’s why it’s so critical that we take action now to shore up California’s aging levees, particularly in Sacramento and the Delta,” Senator Feinstein said.  “The nearly $72 million in federal funding secured in this bill will help ensure that the Army Corps has the resources needed to restore California’s crumbling flood control infrastructure. This will protect millions of lives and property throughout California who rely on these levees for protection against catastrophic floods.”

Construction Projects:  $179.3 million in California, including:

  • $5 million for CalFed Delta Levee Stability Program
  • $9 million for American River Watershed (Folsom Dam Modifications)
  • $13 million for American River Watershed (Common Features)
  • $2 million for American River Watershed (Folsom Dam Raise)
  • $23.968 million for Sacramento River Bank Protection
  • $12 million for South Sacramento County Streams
  • $2 million for West Sacramento Flood Control
  • $1.5 million for Mid-Valley Sacramento Levee Reconstruction

Northern California

  • $11 million for Napa River Flood Control
  • $5 million for Upper Guadalupe River Flood Control
  • $5 million for Guadalupe River Flood Control
  • $4.9 million for Hamilton Airfield Wetlands Restoration
  • $400,000 for Llagas Creek Flood Control Study
  • $24 million for Oakland Harbor Main Channel Deepening
  • $3 million for Yuba River Basin Flood Control

Southern California

  • $14 million for Santa Ana River Mainstem
  • $6 million for Santa Maria River Flood Control
  • $3 million for Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration
  • $750,000 for San Luis Rey River Flood Control
  • $5 million for Murrieta Creek Flood Control

General Investigations projects: $17 million for California, including:
Northern California

  • $1.4 million for South San Francisco Bay Shoreline Study
  • $1 million for Sacramento-San Joaquin River Basins Comprehensive Study
  • $2 million for Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Islands and Levees
  • $1 million for Pajaro River Flood Control Study

Southern California

  • $590,000 for Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration
  • $400,000 for Lower Mission Creek Flood Control
  • $1 million for Matilija Dam Environmental Restoration

$152.7 million for Bureau of Reclamation projects in California, including:
Fish Passage

  • $5 million for the Red Bluff Diversion Dam, to install a new fish-friendly pumping plant.  Red Bluff is the last major water project to be screened on the Sacramento River.  Spawning habitat above the dam is responsible for 80 percent of the commercial salmon catch in the Pacific Ocean
  • $4 million to continue construction of fish screens in Sutter and Sacramento Counties on the Sacramento River

Recycling projects, including:

  • $1.5 million for Calleguas Water Recycling Plant in Ventura County 
  • $1 million for the Inland Empire Utilities Agency’s water recycling project 
  • $1.69 million for the Long Beach Department of Water desalination and water reclamation projects

Department of Energy

  • $1.5 million for Placer County Biomass Facility, which will utilize hazardous fuels removed from around Lake Tahoe to produce energy
  • $1.95 million for Inyo County, to study the potential groundwater connections between the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site and Death Valley National Park and to participate in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s licensing hearings on the disposal site
  • $12.5 million for cleanup at Santa Susana Field Laboratory and bill language requiring the Department of Energy to enter into an interagency agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency and for EPA to conduct a radioactive site characterization

“The clean up at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory has dragged on for far too long – largely due to bureaucratic hurdles,” Senator Feinstein said. “This funding provided in this bill will help ensure that Santa Susana will be cleaned up to the highest standards and that the clean up will be completed in a timely manner.”