Hearing of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2008
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REP. JOHN T. SALAZAR (D-CO): Thank you, Madame Chair.
Today I look forward to working with the Water Resources Development Act. I know that I share the same frustration that many of us do from the last bill that took seven years to pass, but I'm hopeful that we will be able to do a better job on this time -- this time.
The projects in this bill are critical to our nation's infrastructure, and among the projects that I submitted last week was a request that the corps be allowed to work on environmental infrastructure projects in Colorado. The corps has the authority in a number of other states and I believe that Colorado should be among those that are allowed to receive corps' assistance for nonfederal water-related infrastructure projects.
Throughout my district and the state there are communities whose water supplies are in need of immediate attention, and one in particular is the city of Alamosa. And many of their -- much of their infrastructure is as old as -- it was built in 1920. These cities are dealing with pollutants, aging infrastructure, lack of facilities and resources for storm water events and environment restoration demands.
I think many of you recall on the national media a couple of weeks ago, the town of Alamosa, Colorado -- town next to where I live, where the salmonella outbreak actually contaminated the municipal water distribution system. Thankfully, there was only one person to die, but there was near 400 cases of people getting sick just from drinking their tap water.
Alamosa needs a new water storage facility, but like many other small rural communities, the funding is a problem. While these communities have some ability to finance the efforts to address these needs, the benefit of the federal financial and technical support is critical to most of them.
So Madame Chair, I would ask you and members of this committee to support not only this request but other requests, like Mr. Buyer's request, and I wanted to also welcome Mr. Buyer, ranking member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and a good friend to this committee.
Thank you, Madame Chair, and I yield back.
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