U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today announced that he has secured $526,000 in new earmarked federal funding for the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to advance the Peckman River Flood Damage Reduction and Ecosystem Restoration Project.
“With this significant funding increase, the Army Corps will be able to move faster to finalize preliminary plans for mitigating flood damages in the Peckman River Basin,” stated Pascrell. “This project will ensure a greater level of safety in our neighborhoods and increase property value for the countless homes that experience flooding and flood threats from the Peckman River.”
The new funding will help advance an ongoing USACE/New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection feasibility study intended to develop alternatives for flood damage reduction and ecosystem restoration in the Peckman River Basin.
Pascrell began pursuing a comprehensive federal investment to mitigate flood damages in the Peckman River Basin following the tragic death of a Little Falls resident and extensive damages left in the wake of Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Securing $100,000 in Congress to initiate a reconnaissance study of the region, Pascrell engaged the Army Corps of Engineers which ultimately determined a need for the continued use of federal resources to restore the basin.
Completion of a favorable reconnaissance study moved the project out of its first phase and opened the door for the Army Corps to begin planning for ecosystem restoration and flood mitigation. Determined to fund the new Army Corps project, Pascrell has steered approximately $2,184,976 in funding to the Peckman River Basin since 2000. In 2002, USACE executed a cost sharing agreement with the NJDEP.
Currently the project is in its second phase, the feasibility study. To date, a topographical survey, environmental baseline study and analysis of hyrology and hydraulics have been completed as part of phase two. Once the feasibility study is completed, the project will advance to its third phase; preconstruction, engineering and design.
The $526,000 earmarked by Pascrell and approved by Congress marks a dramatic increase over the funding levels that were approved in previous years demonstrating a promising development for the project’s advancement.
“The people of Little Falls, West Paterson and surrounding communities have been negatively affected by the Peckman River for far too long. I have appreciated their cooperation, input and patience throughout this process and am pleased with this funding increase. The more money we can secure in Congress, the less time it will take to complete the project. I will continue fighting hard to move this project forward and am confident that the Army Corps will invest this funding to make significant advancements and improve the region for generations to come,” concluded Pascrell.