U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a member of the Appropriations Committee, today announced funding for projects in Alabama included in the fiscal year 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. The bill is included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 and will soon be voted on in the House of Representatives. The Senate will consider the bill following approval by the House of Representatives.
"I am glad that the committee recognized the importance of these energy and water projects to the state of Alabama,” said Shelby. “This legislation reflects our commitment to protecting the waterways and energy resources in our state and throughout the country."
Tuscaloosa Army Corps of Engineers Office Relocation - $5 Million
The Corps’ office in Tuscaloosa is overcrowded and does not meet current safety standards. This funding will allow the Corps to move the maintenance facility to an industrial area of Tuscaloosa where more space is available.
"The Corps’ facilities in Tuscaloosa are inadequate, inefficient, out-dated and fail to meet environmental and safety standards,” said Shelby. “This new facility will allow the employees and public to have a facility that meets workplace and environmental standards, while highlighting the value of Alabama’s thriving waterways by keeping the Corps presence along the river."
Mobile Harbor Turning Basin - $891,000
The Alabama Port Authority will make improvements to the navigation system at the Mobile Harbor, including the construction of a turning basin and widening a section of the Mobile Harbor project.
“The Port of Mobile is vital to the economy of the state of Alabama and the Gulf Coast region,” said Shelby. “Alabama’s waterways are an integral component of our national inland waterway transportation system and an economic necessity for businesses that depend on the waterways’ infrastructure to transport their goods. Improvements to the Port will spur international trade and economic opportunities in the region.”
Integrated Distribution Management System (IDMS) - $2 Million
The IDMS is projected to save customers between $12 million to $96 million annually due to power loss reductions.
“The IDMS will integrate information systems that operate an electric distribution system, providing a significant increase in reliability,” said Shelby. “In addition, the system will reduce power losses inherent in the system. This funding is important given the ongoing efforts to ensure reliability across the power grid.”
Auburn University Alternative Fuel Source Study of Cement Kilns - $1.5 Million
During this phase of research, the Auburn and LaFarge North America team of researchers will consider alternative fuel sources that are regionally available, energy intensive, appropriate for cement kilns and supportive of national energy policy.
"Auburn University’s laboratories will continue to work in coordination with LaFarge North America to study the conversion of alternate fuel sources for cement production,” said Shelby. “It is critical that our scientists work to decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign fuel sources. This project is a perfect example of the private sector working with a public university to drive innovation in the industry."
Delta Regional Authority (DRA) - $11.685 Million
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal and state partnership that serves 240 counties in eight states, including 20 of Alabama’s most impoverished counties.
"The Delta Regional Authority provides transportation and infrastructure funding, as well as funds for economic development and skills training,” said Shelby. “In the past, the Delta Regional Authority has assisted with significant improvements to the economy of West Alabama. This funding will allow the DRA to continue its efforts to spur economic development throughout these underserved areas of Alabama."
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) - $73.032 Million
Thirty-seven Alabama counties are included in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s funding area.
"The Appalachian Regional Commission is an important economic driver in Alabama,” said Shelby. “This funding will allow the ARC to continue their efforts to improve economic development and increase infrastructure in Appalachia."
Waterways Projects - $117.668 Million
The legislation provides funds for a number of Alabama waterway projects.
“Alabama’s waterways play an integral role in many parts of the Alabama economy, ranging from transportation to recreation,” sad Shelby. “However, without proper funding the benefits of the waterways will be put in jeopardy.”
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 River Comprehensive Water Study - $470,000
- Alabama Coosa River - $4.51 Million
- Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway - $19.694 Million
- Gulf Intracoastal Waterway - $4.797 Million
- Millers Ferry Lock and Dam, William Bill Dannelly Lake ? $5.334 Million
- Mobile Harbor - $18.803 Million
- Project Condition Surveys - $118,000
- Robert F. Henry Lock and Dam - $6.134 Million
- Scheduling Reservoir Operations and Maintenance - $93,000
- Tennessee River Operations - $21.151 Million
- Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway - $28.048 Million
- Tennessee Tombigbee Wildlife Mitigation Payments - $1.865 Million
- Walter F. George Lock and Dam, Alabama and Georgia - $6.618 Million
- Water/Environmental Certification Alabama - $33,000
The following projects have been provided to the Corps for construction and major rehabilitation projects on the following waterways:
- Chickamauga Lock, TN - $35.2 Million
- Kentucky Lock and Dam, KY - $52 Million