Please find below a press release by Congressman Cartwright regarding the lack of funding for a Section 205 Levee Study for West Pittston. His office evidently has tried to make it public in the past. We at West Pittston Tomorrow would be most appreciative if you could get its contents to the public along with the fact that WPT has gathered nearly 1500 petitions to date requesting a study post haste.
You have been most supportive in the past … please help us again.
WPT, levee committee chairman
Today (April 29), U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright sent a letter to Rep. Mike Simpson (ID-2) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, requesting additional funding for the Section 205 Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) of the Army Corps of Engineers.
Section 205 enables the Corps to undertake small flood control projects without the lengthy study and authorization process typical of many larger Corps projects. Because demand for such projects has increased in recent years, there is currently a significant backlog of projects competing for limited funding.
Cartwright noted, “As you know, funds have traditionally been allocated using a project funding stage-based sequence of steps until the funds are exhausted. Funds for projects not previously funded for the applicable phase have been ranked lowest on the nationwide priority listing.” In practice, this means that many deserving ‘new starts’ are rarely funded.”
“After the devastation we saw in 2011, I am committed to doing everything I can to help protect our communities up and down the Wyoming Valley,” said Cartwright. “Increased funding in this area would help the Corps reduce the backlog of both active and un-started projects. Additionally, it would provide an important economic benefit to the local, regional, and national economies.”
West Pittston is one example of a community affected by the backlog of new starts competing for CAP funding. After Tropical Strom Lee caused the Susquehanna River to flood in September 2011, the community formed an organization, West Pittston Tomorrow, which is dedicated to addressing the 1.4 mile gap in the Wyoming Valley Levee System. Additional funding for the Section 205 CAP would provide the Corps with resources necessary to tackle such projects.
Most recently, the group has circulated a petition asking residents and neighbors in surrounding communities addressed to federal and state officials urging that the borough get the flood protection that most other West Side residents already receive.