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Walden Secures Major Funding for Umatilla County Projects

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Walden Secures Major Funding for Umatilla County Projects

Congressman Walden (R-Ore.) secured major funding in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill moving through the House for the Umatilla Basin Project, the Port of Umatilla, and an environmental restoration study for the Walla Walla River.

"The basin project, the port, and the health of the Walla Walla River are all important projects with strong local support in Umatilla County," Congressman Walden said. "I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to ensure that these funds reach the local projects that deserve them so much."

Details on the projects, plus reaction from project managers, follow:

The Port of Umatilla would receive $500,000. The money will contribute toward an incremental expansion of the facility at Pendleton Grain Growers and will assist the Port of Umatilla with the shipping and transportation aspects of the project.

"The Port of Umatilla is very pleased with the opportunity this appropriation represents to our local growers," said Kim Puzey, the general manager of the Port of Umatilla. "We appreciate Congressman Walden for moving our request forward to this point."

The Umatilla Basin Water Supply Project would receive $500,000. The money will allow the Bureau of Reclamation to finish its supply study on time in 2008. The Umatilla Basin Water Supply Study has been requested and is being supported by the tribe, the state, Westland Irrigation District and other parties in the Umatilla Basin.

"This is great news," said Antone Minthorn, chairman of the board of trustees for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. "Congressman Walden is to be commended for his leadership and his unyielding commitment to resolve the water supply problems in the Umatilla Basin and for the Confederated Umatilla Tribes. Hearing yesterday that Congressman Walden was successful in getting this congressional appropriation for the Umatilla Basin is just the kind of positive news we need to move forward with speed and resolve to address our most pressing water supply and economic development needs."

"This is great news for Westland Irrigation District and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation as we partner together seeking long-term water solutions in the Umatilla Basin, and we sincerely appreciate the efforts and leadership of Congressman Walden in this important effort," said Westland Irrigation District Mike Wick.

$200,000 would be dedicated to completing an environmental restoration study on the Walla Walla River.

"We are very pleased the House has included planning funds essential for our farms, local communities, and federally listed fish species. Congressman Walden has knows our issues and works hard to make sure we have the tools to address them," said Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council Director Brian Wolcott.

Congressman Walden has made all his earmark requests public on his website.

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