Friday, April 22, 2022

NRCS-PA: Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law To Fund 2 Watershed Flood Prevention, Restoration Projects In Underserved PA Communities

On April 22, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest $420 million in 132 infrastructure projects in 31 states, including a $3.85 million investment in two projects in Pennsylvania. including rehabilitating dams, flood prevention, and watershed restoration projects.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our infrastructure, create good-paying jobs and build new economic opportunity here in Pennsylvania,” said Denise Coleman, PA State Conservationist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. “Our watershed programs help communities rebuild after natural disasters and prepare for future events. These projects exemplify why this historic investment in our watersheds was needed and the adeptness of our agency to act swiftly.” 

Projects in Pennsylvania include:

-- Middle Creek Watershed Project, PA-637 Walker Lake: Owned and operated by Fish and Boat Commission, Walker Lake Dam provides recreation and flood protection for the Middleburg area of Snyder County, PA. Rehabilitation is planned for the existing dam to meet current criteria for a high potential hazard dam and to extend the service life.

-- Little Schuylkill River Watershed Project: The five dams enrolled within the REHAB Program are owned and operated by the Schuylkill County Commissioners and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pennsylvania NRCS is generally taking a watershed approach to evaluating how to rehabilitate the existing infrastructure. 

All five dams in the Little Schuylkill River Watershed are being considered in the same planning effort. Four of the five dams are in Pennsylvania’s top 25 dams for Failure Index. One dam has seen flow through the auxiliary spillway. These dams work together to provide flood protection for the Tamaqua and New Ringgold areas of Schuylkill County.

For more information on assistance available to landowners, visit the NRCS-PA webpage.

[Posted: April 22, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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