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Matheson: Long-Overdue Water Funding Bill Protects Health, Environment

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Matheson: Long-Overdue Water Funding Bill Protects Health, Environment

Congressman Jim Matheson said today's veto override of the long-delayed Water Resources Development Act (HR 1495) ensures that badly needed water planning and infrastructure projects throughout Utah will go forward.

Matheson included more than $10 million in the legislation for critical water projects in Grand, Washington, Iron, Duchesne and Uintah counties.

"Counties are struggling to meet the need for clean, reliable water in their communities. Outmoded systems cannot keep up with demand. This legislation—7 years in the making—will help rural water districts make long-awaited improvements to water delivery in order to protect human health and the environment," said Matheson.

Matheson said WRDA prioritizes water project funding, making it highly likely that the counties will be helped in 2008. He said WRDA authorizes an aquifer study for Grand County that will, among other things, help determine the extent of pollution from the Atlas tailings site. Preliminary studies indicate the contamination has migrated under the Colorado River towards Moab. He said the legislation authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to study how it can reduce future flood damage along the Santa Clara River in southwestern Utah—the site of devastating flooding in 2005. Finally, Matheson said more than $10 million is included for "rural water infrastructure for Iron, Uintah and Duchesne counties.

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