Feb 13 2003

SEN. SHELBY ANNOUNCES ENERGY AND WATER PROJECTS FOR ALABAMA

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced important energy and water project funding for Alabama.

Sen. Shelby said,"I am pleased that the bill provides significant funding for several projects for Alabama. This legislation reflects our commitment to protecting the waterways and energy resources in Alabama and throughout the country."

WATERWAY PROJECTS

The legislation provides funds for a number of Alabama waterway projects. Sen. Shelby said, "The waterways of Alabama are an important part of our national inland waterway transportation system. They are an economic necessity for businesses in Alabama, and across the nation. Numerous industries depend on an efficient waterway infrastructure to transport goods. Adequate funding is critical in order to avoid interruptions to the river flow traffic."

The bill has provided funding for a number of Army Corps of Engineers projects in Alabama. These funds have been provided for the Corps' ongoing operation and maintenance activities on the waterways listed below:

Alabama - Coosa Comprehensive Water Study - $500,000

Alabama - Coosa River - $3.174 million (includes $200,000 for implementation of a system-wide geographic information system)

Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers - $4.709 (includes funding to continue restoration efforts at Corley Slough)

Bayou La Batre - $2 million

Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers - $26 million

Gulf Intracoastal Waterway - $4.963 million

Millers Ferry Lock and Dam, William Bill Dannelly Lake - $7.094 million

Mobile Harbor - $22.5 million

Perdido Pass Channel - $1.2 million

Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam - $5.858 million

Tennessee - Tombigbee Waterway - $26 million (includes $2 million for wildlife mitigation)

Walter F. George Lock and Dam - $6.912 million

These funds have been provided for the Corps’ General Investigations works:

Alabama River Below Claiborne Lock and Dam, AL - $300,000

Baldwin County Watersheds, AL - $50,000

Bayou La Batre, AL - $150,000

Brewton and East Brewton, AL - $50,000

Cahaba River Watershed, AL - $150,000

Dog River, AL - $150,000

Village Creek, Jefferson County (Birmingham Watershed) - $250,000

Spring Creek, Tuscaloosa, AL - $125,000

Duck River, Cullman, AL - $500,000

These funds have been provided to the Corps for construction and major rehabilitation projects on the following waterways:

Mobile Harbor, AL - $2 million

Walter F. George Powerhouse and Dam, AL & GA $16.473 million

Walter F. George Powerplant, AL & GA - $2.857

DELTA REGIONAL AUTHORITY - $8 million

Sen. Shelby said, "The Delta Regional Authority was established two years ago and created an eight state region of the country, including 20 counties in Alabama, eligible for additional transportation and infrastructure funding, as well as funds for economic development and skills training. This year's appropriations bill provides another $8 million for the Delta Regional Authority."

Biomass Gasification Research Center

Sen. Shelby said, "This legislation provides $2 million for the Southern Research Institute in Birmingham to accelerate the development of reliable biomass gasification technology. Biomass is a renewable energy source that can provide power and fuels with almost no net Carbon Dioxide emissions while reducing our dependence on imported oil. Gasification is the means to most efficiently convert biomass into these products. Presently, there are a number of technical hurdles that must be overcome before biomass gasification can be utilized in a cost-efficient manner and prove to be a useful fuel source. Southern Research Institute has a long history of providing rigorous and unbiased technology assessments in the energy and environmental research areas and I am confident that this endeavor will prove successful."