Pascrell: Funding for Peckman River Continues
Congressman secures $400,000 to continue federal study of river
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ, 8th) announced today that the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has, at his request, earmarked $400,000 to continue to the federal study of the flooding problem along the Peckman River.
Pascrell has secured a total of $650,000 in funding for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to study the river. A cost sharing agreement was reached in March of 2002 between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers, so the new funds will be matched by the state.
The study is a three phase process: reconnaissance, feasibility and design. A favorable reconnaissance report was completed in July of 2001. Currently, the project is in the feasibility phase. USACE expects to complete the feasibility study in 2006. The project will then move through a one year preconstruction, engineering, and design phase. Construction is due to begin in 2007.
"The United States Congress continues to prove its commitment to ending flooding along the Peckman River. I was very pleased my request for additional funding so the Corps could continue its work has become a reality," stated Pascrell. "We need answers as to how to fix the flooding problem and the Army Corps will deliver. President Bush's budget blueprint allotted $200,000 for this project. Thanks to the work of Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, a member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee, we were able to double that amount."
Pascrell has long argued that all proposed development along the Peckman River should be stopped until the federal study is completed. In a statement submitted to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection on June 17, 2003, Pascrell contended,
"The U.S. government has shown, by it's willingness to continue to fund the feasibility study, its direct interest in finding the solution to the flooding along the Peckman River. It is far too early in the process to determine what recommendations will be made by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control the flooding. It simply does not make sense to allow continued development in the flood plain in the middle of a study to determine the best solution to flooding along this river."
"I strongly urge you to.wait until federal recommendations have been made prior to allowing any future development along the river. The physical and financial safety of our residents may be at stake."
With the Congressional funding secured by Pascrell, the Army Corps study can continue without hesitation. Pascrell has vowed to see the project through until the flooding problem has been completely resolved.