Lincoln, Pryor Announce Senate Approval for Arkansas Energy and Water Priorities

Washington – U.S. Senators Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor today announced that the Senate has approved the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Development legislation, which contains funding for Arkansas priorities.

Pryor is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. His presence on this committee allows him the opportunity to shape the legislation both during the committee process and on the Senate floor.

“These projects significantly contribute to the economic development and business growth of communities throughout Arkansas,” said Lincoln.  “I am pleased that we are taking positive steps towards securing federal dollars that will enhance navigation, flood control and water quality.   I’ll continue my fight to ensure that these much-needed funds reach Arkansas’s communities.”

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve focused on allocating dollars where they can be most effective. That’s why I’m pleased with the funds we secured to maintain our rivers, dams and lakes and support forward-looking initiatives to develop alternative energy resources in our state,” Pryor said.

The annual Energy and Water Development bill includes funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, most of the Department of Energy, and a number of independent agencies.

The following is a list of Arkansas’s energy and water priorities included in the legislation:

$13 million for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) The DRA provides long-term coordination among federal, state, and local entities committed to economic development in the Lower Mississippi Delta region.

$1 million for the MidSouth/Southeast BioEnergy Consortium The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Arkansas State University, and the University of Georgia will use these funds to develop economic and environmentally viable systems to produce, harvest, and process relevant feedstocks for biodiesel and ethanol operations.

$500,000 for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) The UALR Nanotechnology Center will use these funds to continue to develop new approaches to improve the efficiency of solar energy devices at lower costs.

The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill includes funding for the following key Arkansas water projects at various stages of development:

Corps of Engineers

General Investigations
·        Southeast Arkansas (Boeuf Tensas project): $300,000
·        Pine Mountain Dam: $425,000
·        White River Basin Comprehensive Investigations: $250,000
·        White River Navigation to Batesville, AR: $170,000
·        Lower Mississippi River Resource Assessment (AR, IL, KY, IA, MS, MO and TN): $250,000
·        May Branch, Fort Smith, AR: $425,000
·        Southwest Arkansas, AR: $210,000

·        Grand Prairie, AR: $10 million
·        Mississippi River Levees (AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO and TN): $45.439 million
·        St. Francis Basin, AR and MO: $3.7 million
·        Channel Improvements (AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO and TN): $47.721 million
·        Red River Emergency Bank Protection (AR and LA): $2 million
·        Red River Below Denison Dam (AR, LA, OK and TX): $2 million

Operations & Maintenance
·        Channel Improvement (AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO and TN): $67.350 million
·        Helena Harbor (Phillips County): $400,000
·        Inspection of Completed Works: $425,000
·        Lower Arkansas River, North Bank: $223,000
·        Lower Arkansas River, South Bank: $175,000
·        White River Backwater: $1.217 million
·        Mississippi River Levees (AR, IL, KY, LA, MS, MO and TN): $11.708 million
·        Osceola Harbor: $800,000
·        Yellow Bend: $115,000
·        Helena Harbor : $40,000
·        Beaver Lake: $8.864 million
·        Blakely Mt. Dam, Lake Ouachita: $7.079 million
·        Blue Mountain Lake: $1.914 million
·        Bull Shoals Lake: $14.484 million
·        Dardanelle Lock and Dam: $9.754 million
·        DeGray Lake: $7.003 million
·        DeQueen Lake: $1.752 million
·        Dierks Lake: $1.360 million
·        Gillham Lake: $1.366 million
·        Greers Ferry Lake: $7.759 million
·        Inspection of Completed Works: $673,000
·        McClellan-Kerr Navigation System: $40.016 million
·        Millwood Lake: $5.122 million
·        Narrows Dam, Lake Greeson: $5.005 million
·        Nimrod Lake: $2.289 million
·        Norfork Lake: $5.717 million
·        Ouachita and Black Rivers (AR and LA): $9.605 million
·        Ozark – Jeta Taylor Lock and Dam: $5.725 million
·        White River: $40,000
·        St. Francis Basin, AR & MO  $9.843 million

The Senate Appropriations Committee also included language in the bill encouraging the Corps of Engineers to consider funding for:

Sec. 205 Small Flood Control Projects
Wynne, AR
Indian Bayou, AR

Sec. 1135 Project Modifications for the Improvement of the Environment
Millwood Lake, Grassy Lake, AR
Lower Cache Restoration, AR