Arkansas Delegation Announces Approval for State Water Infrastructure Priorities

Washington – U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor and U.S. Representatives Marion Berry (AR-01), Vic Snyder (AR-02), and Mike Ross (AR-04) today announced that the Senate and House have passed the Conference Report for the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2010, containing more than $4.36 million in water infrastructure priorities for Arkansas. The annual spending bill funds the Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other related agencies.

Pryor and Berry are members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, respectively.  Their presence on these committees allows them the opportunity to shape the legislation during the legislative process.

“These federal dollars will help provide critical water infrastructure improvements that will support growth throughout Arkansas,” said Lincoln. “I’m pleased to see this significant investment in our state, and I’ll continue my fight to ensure that much-needed funds reach Arkansas’s communities.”

“A community can’t grow without a strong water and sewer system to support families and businesses,” Pryor said.  “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am pleased that we were able to fund projects to improve water infrastructure in towns across Arkansas.  This bill will help foster economic development and job creation in our state and throughout America.”

“Strong, safe water infrastructure is essential for job growth and economic development to continue in Arkansas,” said Berry.  “Investment in infrastructure projects will help upgrade and improve many of the water resources for residents and businesses across the state.”

“I am pleased that we were able to secure this funding to improve water infrastructure,” Snyder said.  “By funding projects to develop better water lines and systems, we will be able to increase water supply and expand development in Arkansas communities.”

“These important investments will allow our communities to meet their growing needs by more effectively using their natural resources,” said Ross.  “I am proud to have helped secure some of these investments because they will go a long way toward improving our state’s infrastructure, helping to attract businesses and facilitate economic growth.”

The following is a list of priorities contained in this year’s Interior appropriations bill:

$300,000 for Water and Wastewater System Improvements in Warren
The City of Warren needs assistance in extending a water and sewer line along the Northeast Bypass to serve the industrial park and encourage future development.

$300,000 for Water Infrastructure Improvements in Forrest City
This project will consist of the installation of approximately 32,000 linear feet of water mains, approximately 23,000 linear feet of gravity sewer mains, and a new sanitary sewer lift station.

$300,000 for Water System Improvements for the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority in Fort Smith
The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) is in charge of redeveloping approximately 7,000 acres of property that was deemed excess property by the BRAC action of 1995.  These funds will support a water line that will provide a much needed loop of the system in this area.

$300,000 for a Water Treatment Plant Expansion in Dardanelle
The project would consist of expanding the existing water treatment plant from its current 3MGD (million gallons per day) output to 5MGD and to increase its source of water.

$300,000 for the Sparta Aquifer Recovery Study

This study will monitor water levels and water quality in Union County’s Sparta aquifer, both before and after three major industries converted from Sparta to the alternative surface source (Ouachita River).  The U.S. Geological Survey will utilize the funding to complete the study.

$500,000 for Cabot Waterworks for Wastewater Improvements

Funds would support the installation of a gravity sewer, increasing capacity and allowing for continued development of residential and commercial property.

$500,000 for the City of Fayetteville for Elkins Outfall Sewer Line

This funding will help improve the current piping system, which is in poor condition and overtaxes the entire wastewater system, causing sewer overflows during heavy rains and requiring oversized wastewater treatment facilities.

$362,000 for Land Acquisition at Fort Smith National Historic Site

This funding will support the acquisition of property adjacent to the Fort Smith National Historic Site.

$1,500,000 for renovation of a district office at Ozark-St. Francis National Forest