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Renton's Efforts to Lobby for Howard Hanson Dam Repairs Successful So Far

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$44 Million included in the Federal Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill

May 14, 2010

For more information contact:

Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

RENTON— U.S. Senator Patty Murray’s office announced today that they have successfully included federal funding of $44 million in the Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill for immediate interim repairs to the Howard Hanson Dam. Earlier this month, Mayor Denis Law joined Governor Gregoire, King County Executive Constantine, County Councilmember Patterson, the other mayors from the Green River Valley, and key business leaders to meet with White House officials and Congressional leaders in Washington D.C. and urge the federal government to expedite funding for both interim and permanent dam fixes.

“This is very exciting news and a great relief for the entire Green River Valley and all the businesses in Renton,” said Mayor Denis Law. “This was made possible thanks to the collaboration of all our local and regional leaders, community members and our businesses. A special thanks to the leadership of Senator Murray and the entire federal delegation.”

Prior to the trip earlier this month with other regional leaders to advocate for funding for the dam fixes, Mayor Denis Law went to Washington D.C. in March to request funding. He met with Senators Cantwell, Congressmen Reichert and Smith, and senior staff to Senator Murray and Congressman McDermott to relay the potential devastation that flooding in the Green River Valley could cause, and emphasize the need for expedited federal funding.

In January 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) discovered a leak in the right abutment of the Howard Hanson Dam and as a result determined that the dam would be unable to hold as much water during heavy rains. This situation created a higher possibility of flooding in areas of Renton located in the floodplain (from State Route 167 west to the Green River and from Renton’s southern boundary north to the Burlington Northern Sante Fe railway corridor).

In March this year, USACE identified a set of interim repairs costing $44 million that would further increase protection against a major flood event. For construction and implementation of the interim measure to start this year, the funding would have to be found in the current fiscal year budget.

“It is imperative that we secure this funding in time to protect the economic vitality of our region,” said Law. “Too much is at stake and we cannot afford any delays. We urge Congress to pass this bill and secure the money so that we can focus on helping our businesses and community.”

For more information, visit rentonwa.gov. For additional details on the Howard Hanson Dam and the right abutment issue, visit www.nws.usace.army.mil