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Pascrell Comments on Peckman Flood Study

Paterson, NJ, November 12, 2019

U.S. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report & Environmental Assessment (DIFR/EA) for the Peckman River Basin, which runs through portions of Essex and Passaic Counties. In the letter to the Project Manager, Rep. Pascrell requests an explanation for how potential remedies might impact flood conditions for residents in surrounding communities along the Passaic River.

“Flooding issues along the Peckman River came to my attention in the wake of damage inflicted by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which caused severe damage in some Passaic County communities and cost the life of one local resident,” Rep. Pascrell writes. “I encourage the USACE to closely coordinate with all relevant stakeholders, including local, county, state and federal representatives to ensure the final proposal will benefit those living in the area. Close coordination is critical to making sure that the final proposal will not negatively impact longstanding regional flood reduction projects, such as Rebuild By Design, and flooding in the Passaic River.”

Rep. Pascrell wrote the resolution initially authorizing the USACE reconnaissance report on the Peckman River. In 2002, Rep. Pascrell announced the findings of the reconnaissance report and over the next several years helped secure millions in state and federal investments to advance the feasibility study. Pascrell also led the fight against development on the banks of this river that could exacerbate flash flood events. To that end, Pascrell helped negotiate the purchase of land on Wilmore Road along the Peckman River in 2005 to preclude the construction of a proposed housing development that would have threatened additional flooding. Pascrell has made it a top priority to find funding and advance policy for smart flood management in Northern New Jersey.

Rep. Pascrell full letter can be viewed here, the text of which appearing below:

November 8, 2019

 

Mr. Dag Madara, Project Manager

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District

Programs and Project Management

26 Federal Plaza

New York, New York 10278-0090

Dear Mr. Madara:

I write today to comment on the Draft Integrated Feasibility Report & Environmental Assessment (DIFR/EA) for the Peckman River Basin. I applaud efforts to manage historically significant flooding in northern New Jersey and encourage you to explain to residents in surrounding communities how the DIFR/EA would or would not impact flood conditions along the Passaic River.

I appreciate the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to update the previously released DIFR/EA. Flooding issues along the Peckman River came to my attention in the wake of damage inflicted by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, which caused severe damage in some Passaic County communities and cost the life of one local resident. As you know, I authored the resolution authorizing the initial reconnaissance report on the Peckman and worked to secure several million dollars for the feasibility study. I have also been very vocal in fighting development on the banks of this river that could exacerbate these flash flood events.

To address these issues, the USACE proposal alternative 10b appears to be the best solution. The combination of a diversion culvert, barriers, and nonstructural measures should appropriately address the persistent flooding challenges in the community. I encourage the USACE to closely coordinate with all relevant stakeholders, including local, county, state and federal representatives to ensure the final proposal will benefit those living in the area. Close coordination is critical to making sure that the final proposal will not negatively impact longstanding regional flood reduction projects, such as Rebuild By Design, and flooding in the Passaic River.

I look forward to continuing to work with you and your office to best reduce flooding in northern New Jersey. I hope you will do everything possible to ensure this proposal will not worsen flooding along the Passaic River. Thank you very much for your time and attention to these comments.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bill Pascrell, Jr.

Member of Congress

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