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Rep. DeFazio Fights for Increase in Critical Funding for Oregon's Small Ports

Jan 10, 2017
Press Release

Today, Rep. DeFazio joined members of the Oregon delegation in sending a letter to Assistant Secretary for the Army of Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy encouraging the Administration to use a portion of federal funds towards operations and maintenance projects at Oregon’s small ports.

Representatives Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader, along with Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, urged the Administration to use additional funds appropriated by Congress in the Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2017 to ensure that Oregon’s small ports receive the dredging funds they need.

Despite a continuing need for maintenance work, such as dredging, no funding was included in the President’s FY 2017 Budget for the Ports of Umpqua, Bandon, Garibaldi, Port Orford, or Depoe Bay.

“Small ports and harbors are some of our nation’s most valuable assets and critical to maintaining and creating jobs. Commercial fishing and recreational boating at these small ports is critically important to the economic health of Oregon coastal communities and to our state, region and nation.  That’s why it is so important that funding to dredge these ports is included in the 2017 work plan,” the members write. 

A copy of the letter is included below.

 

 

 

 

January 10, 2017

 

 

 

The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
108 Army Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20310-0108

Dear Secretary Darcy:

           

I request that, as you develop the fiscal year 2017 work plan for the Army Civil Works program through April 28, 2017, you maintain the President’s Budget request for the Ports of Siuslaw (Siuslaw River) and Brookings Harbor (Chetco River), and include additional critical operation and maintenance funding for six other small port projects in the State of Oregon: the Umpqua River project (Port of Umpqua), the Coquille River project (Port of Bandon), the Rogue River project (Port of Gold Beach), the Tillamook Bay and Harbor project (Port of Garibaldi), the Port Orford project, and the Depoe Bay project.

 

            On December 12, 2016, the President signed the Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2017 (Pub. L. 114-254) into law. This bill included approximately $1.79 billion for the Corps to carry out operation and maintenance needs, nationwide, including the operation and maintenance needs of small, commercial harbors, through April 28, 2017. While no explanatory statement was filed in coordination with this law, the House Report (Report No. 114-532) to accompany the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2017, identified $50 million in unallocated operation and maintenance funding reserved for work at small, remote, or subsistence navigation projects. I request that you allocate a portion of any undesignated operation and maintenance funding for these Oregon small port projects, and that their total capabilities are included in the final fiscal year 2017 work plan.

 

           As you know, funding for the Ports of Siuslaw, Umpqua, Bandon, Gold Beach, Brookings Harbor, Garibaldi, Port Orford, Toledo, and Depoe Bay was included in the fiscal year 2016 workplan. However, despite a continuing need for maintenance work at all of these facilities, no funding was included in the fiscal year 2017 President’s Budget for the Ports of Umpqua, Bandon, Garibaldi, Port Orford, or Depoe Bay. Based on conversations with the Portland District and local ports, I have been informed of additional Corps’ capability for these projects, as well as for the Port of Gold Beach (Rogue River) project, in fiscal year 2017, in the following amounts:

            Project Name

Additional FY 2017 Capability

Total FY 2017 Request

Umpqua River (Port of Umpqua)

$945,000

$945,000

Coquille River (Port of Bandon)

$467,000

$467,000

Rogue River (Port of Gold Beach)

$1,400,000

$2,073,000

Tillamook Bay and Harbor (Port of Garibaldi)

$773,000

$773,000

Port of Port Orford, Breakwater Repair

$5,000,000

$5,000,000

Depoe Bay

 

$27,000

$27,000

           

Small ports and harbors are some of our nation’s most valuable assets and critical to maintaining and creating jobs. Commercial fishing and recreational boating at these small ports is critically important to the economic health of Oregon coastal communities and to our state, region and nation.  That’s why it is so important that funding to dredge these ports is included in the 2017 work plan.

 

            Thank you for your consideration of this request.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

_____________________________                                      _____________________________

Peter DeFazio                                                                         Ron Wyden

Ranking Member                                                                     Ranking Member

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure                    Committee on Finance

U.S. House of Representatives                                                U.S. Senate

 

 

_____________________________                                      _____________________________

Jeff Merkley                                                                             Kurt Schrader

Member                                                                                   Member                                              

Committee on Environment and Public Works                       Committee on Energy and Commerce

U.S. Senate                                                                              U.S. House of Representatives