Casey, Specter Announce Committee Approval of Energy & Water Projects for Pennsylvania

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter today announced that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved federal funding for several Pennsylvania energy and water initiatives.  The projects are contained in the Fiscal Year 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.

“This federal funding is crucial to maintaining and building the infrastructures that are vital to the local economies and safety of our communities,” Senator Specter said.  “I am pleased my colleagues have recognized the importance of developing these projects throughout Pennsylvania.”
“I am happy that funding for these vital energy and water projects has been approved by my colleagues,” Senator Casey said.  “These funds will help rehabilitate existing infrastructure, develop new projects and create jobs throughout Pennsylvania.”

The bill must be approved by the full Senate, the House of Representatives and signed into law by the President before funding is final.

Pennsylvania projects in the bill include:

Army Corps

•    $500,000 for the Bloomsburg Area Flood Damage Reduction Project for preliminary engineering and design of a flood protection project for the town of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. Bloomsburg is subject to severe flooding from both the Susquehanna River and Fishing Creek, which serve as the southern and northwestern boundary of the town, respectively.

•    $3,752,000 for Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County for flood risk management and the promotion of recreation and environmental stewardship.

•    $7 million for the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening for deepening the existing Delaware River Federal Navigation Channel from 40 to 45 feet from Philadelphia Harbor, PA and Beckett Street Terminal, Camden, NJ to the mouth of the Delaware Bay.

•    $200,000 for the Delaware River Dredge Material Utilization Study. This study will explore beneficial uses of dredged material from the Delaware River, including the transfer, transport, drying and re-handling of dredged material as it relates to watershed management, ecosystem restoration, navigation, water quality, abandoned mine reclamation and cover material for landfills.

•    $250,000 for the Southeast PA Flood Plain Management Services. This funding will support an investigation of multiple flooding issues in the counties of Chester, Delaware, Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks in Pennsylvania.

•    $200,000 for the Delaware Estuary Environmental Restoration Study to investigate protection options for ecosystem and habitat restoration, including oysters, regional sediment management and shoreline erosion.

•    $20.02 million for the “Philadelphia to the Sea Project” to maintain a 96.5 mile channel of the Delaware River from Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia to the Delaware Bay.

•    $820,000 for the “Philadelphia to Trenton Project” to ensure the continued navigability of the upper reaches of the Delaware River.

•    $250,000 for a 6.5 mile 33-foot deep channel on the Schuylkill River from its confluence with the Delaware River to the University Avenue Bridge.

•    $10 million to maintain the Hopper Dredge McFarland, which is one of four oceangoing hopper dredgers owned and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers as its minimum fleet for national security. The McFarland’s two-fold mission is to be ready to dredge for emergency and national defense purposes and for planned dredging in the Delaware River and along the East and Gulf Coasts.

•    $451,000 for the Upper Ohio River Navigation Study. This study will investigate opportunities for maintaining and improving commercial navigation on the upper Ohio River in Pennsylvania and will evaluate the potential for integrating ecosystem restoration features into long-range plans for the river basin.

•    $2 million for Locks and Dams 2, 3, and 4 on the Monongahela River to replace the fixed crest Braddock Lock and Dam with a gated dam, remove Lock and Dam 3 at Elizabeth and construct two new larger locks at Lock and Dam 4 in Charleroi.

•    $11.5 million for the Emsworth Locks and Dam, Ohio River to update the structural components of the dam to ensure continued navigational capability on the Ohio River.

•    $8.456 million for the Allegheny River Locks and Dams for the continued operations and maintenance of navigation systems on the Allegheny River. The Allegheny River system of locks and dams enables year round navigation that allows for the transportation of an average of over 3 million tons of cargo per year.

•    $15,861,000 for the Monongahela River Locks and Dams for the continued operation and maintenance of the navigation system on the Monongahela River.

•    $500,000 for the Lackawanna River at Scranton. This project provides 100-year level flood protection for the City of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

•    $1.5 million for the Wyoming Valley Levee Raising and Solomon Creek Flood Protection. Funding will be used for flood protection and to help avoid the type of devastation caused to this area by the floods associated with Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972, which caused an estimated $1 billion worth of damage.

•    $1 million for Presque Isle Shoreline Erosion Control to minimize erosion and promote natural growth in an area of the peninsula known as Gull Point. The project is critical to Erie’s tourism economy and to maintaining a habitat for endangered species.


•    $750,000 for Flabeg Solar Corp (Clinton County) for its Optimized Concentrated Solar Power Trough Development Project.  A manufacturing facility near the Pittsburgh airport will use these funds to develop and test a solar trough mirror prototype for solar thermal energy production. This prototype will be bigger, cheaper, and concentrate more solar energy than mirrors sold and used overseas, making it better suited for the United States' scale of solar energy production.

•    $750,000 for Sunbury Generation (Snyder County). Sunbury will partner with California-based Calera to turn its 1950’s-era, waste-coal-fired power plant in Central PA into a demonstration project for a potential breakthrough technology in capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal generation. Calera uses a chemical process to convert CO2 emissions into a type of limestone that could be used in the cement market, and which could permanently lock up greenhouse gas emissions in the material. Because this project would retrofit an existing, older coal plant with this technology, it is potentially applicable to the more than 40 coal plants in PA, most of which were built before 1980, and could aid in controlling their greenhouse gas emissions. Pennsylvania emits nearly 1% of total global greenhouse gas emissions—more than 101 other countries put together—and most of those emissions come from coal-fired electricity generation.

•    $200,000 for Bucknell University (Union County) for its Marcellus Shale Research Initiative.  The initiative will provide interdisciplinary energy research and regional outreach in response to the emergence of the current effort to tap the reserves of natural gas found within the Marcellus Shale formation.

•    $500,000 for Marywood University (Lackawanna County) for a Home Energy Efficiency Research and Development Project.  The project will determine the viability of manufacturing zero-net energy homes.

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