Press Releases

Washington, DC – The Fiscal Year 2007 Emergency Supplemental bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee today includes $94.1 million to help shore up California’s levee infrastructure, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced.

Specifically, the funds will be used by the Army Corps of Engineers to repair 213 sites on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers that were damaged by winter and spring storms in 2006. These storms resulted in federal disaster declarations. 

The emergency spending package approved in Committee today will need to be approved by the full Senate before it goes to conference with the House of Representatives, votes for final passage in both chambers of Congress, and to the President for his signature.

“The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved $94.1 million of emergency funding to help repair California’s levees,” Senator Feinstein said. “These levees protect California’s farmland, communities, and drinking water supply from catastrophic flooding. So, it’s vital that the levees are safe and secure.

However, the levee system is fragile, and major storms periodically overwhelm the aging infrastructure of the earthen levees. In fact, more than 300 sites along the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers were damaged by storm-related high water events in January and April 2006. And the Army Corps of Engineers warns us that the Sacramento/Delta region faces one of our nation’s most severe risks of catastrophic flooding from storms or earthquakes.

Last year, the Governor appropriated millions of dollars for the 47 sites that required immediate repairs. But over 200 sites along the levee system still require attention.

So, the emergency funding approved today by the Committee will enable the Corps to fund the overdue repairs, and fix 213 critical levee sites. This will ensure that the lives and property that depend on the stability of the levees are, in fact, protected from the threat of catastrophic flooding.”

The Army Corps of Engineers and the State jointly evaluated and prioritized over 300 sites damaged by storms in January and April 2006. Last year, the Governor provided $44 million last year to fix 47 of the most critical sites. So, the funding designated for levees repairs will be directed towards many of the remaining sites still requiring repair.