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Pascrell Announces Federal/State Cost-sharing Agreement to Find Solutions to Peckman River Flooding

Paterson - Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) announced recently that the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have reached a cost-sharing agreement that will fund a comprehensive review of possible solutions to the severe flooding problems along the Peckman River.

Last fall, Pascrell called a meeting of all Mayors whose towns are impacted by flooding from the Peckman, including Little Falls, Cedar Grove, Verona, and West Paterson.  At the meeting, he announced that the initial findings of the federal study conducted by the Army Corps, known as the Reconnaissance report, revealed that the flooding was much worse than previously documented.  It stated that significant work was needed to alleviate the problem.

Soon thereafter, Pascrell announced that, at his request, Congress had appropriated $100,000 to complete the Reconnaissance Phase of the study, or first phase, and begin the Feasibility Phase.  The Feasibility Phase officially begins with the signing of this cost-share agreement, and will consist of a thorough examination of possible solutions to the flooding problem. 
Under the agreement, the Feasibility Phase of the project is expected to cost $4.4 million, with the DEP and Army Corps each contributing $2.2 million.

"Many families were literally devastated by the flooding that took place along the Peckman River during Hurricane Floyd, and I am firmly committed to making sure that we prevent such devastation in the future," Pascrell said.

"The flooding problem along the Peckman is much worse than previously documented, and now we need to comprehensively address it."

"This cost-sharing agreement is the federal/state partnership I requested, and it will move us from discovering the severity of the problem, which we've done, to determining the solution." 

The Army Corps of Engineers study consists of three different phases, Reconnaissance, Feasibility and Design. The Reconnaissance Report, released last fall, specifically states, ".Peak flows on the river are probably significantly higher than those originally published over 20-years ago in the FIS."(Flood insurance study).  In explaining the final method used in estimating flows under current conditions, the report says, "The FIS data was outdated"

Moreover, according to the Report, Hurricane Floyd was actually found to have the potential to have 28-year frequency, meaning that statistically, a major flood is likely to occur again in the next 28 years.  Smaller events, still causing quite a bit of damage, are expected to occur more frequently.

Because the problem was determined through this first phase of the study to be far more extensive than previously documented, further federal funding was required.  The Army Corps of Engineers had agreed at Pascrell's request to initially fund the study through its "small projects" programs to get a jump-start on the overall process.  However, as the larger scope of the problem became more evident, additional funding was required to continue the project moving without delay.  That additional funding was provided through the $100,000 Fiscal Year 2002 Appropriation Pascrell announced last October, and now through this cost-share agreement.


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