Press Releases

Warner, Webb Secure $80.2M for Water Projects, Economic Development in Southwest VA

~Funding for Flood Control, Public Safety, Appalachian Regional Commission

Jul 31 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner today announced that $80.2 million in funding was secured for the Appalachian Regional Commission and three water projects in Southwest Virginia. The funds were included in the FY2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, passed in the Senate on Wednesday night, which provides funding for the Department of Energy, Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior, and economic development projects. 

The projects will enhance economic development, improve public safety, and preserve natural landscapes and ecosystems. Some of the projects include continuation of ongoing flood control and redevelopment in the town of Grundy and Buchanan and Dickenson Counties, and beginning the Claytor Lake Ecosystem Restoration project.

The legislation also included $76 million in funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, which increases job opportunities, strengthens the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy, and develops and improves infrastructure. The Commission’s funding will also contribute to the construction of the Appalachian Development Highway System in the region.

“Ensuring that the town of Grundy is protected from flooding is integral to the safety of the community and to economic development in the region. Better waterways, improved recreational resources, and better infrastructure are essential to attract new businesses and tourists to Southwest Virginia,” said Senator Webb. “I am pleased that Virginia will receive more than $32 million for a number of projects ranging from maintaining waterways crucial to economic growth to preventing flooding and guaranteeing safe drinking water.”

“These investments will go a long way to help improve the infrastructure and protect the environment in communities in southwest Virginia,” said Senator Warner.  “When I was honored to serve as Virginia Governor, I also served two terms as the Appalachian Regional Commission co-chair, so I am a strong believer in the ability of the ARC to invest in the region’s infrastructure and promote quality in its public schools, health care and economic development efforts.”

Below is the list of projects secured in Southwest Virginia:

  • Grundy Flood Control Project; Grundy, VA -- $4,000,000

The Grundy Flood Control and Redevelopment Project is part of the Levisa and Tug Forks Section 202 projects that is under construction.  Funding would be for the continuation of the ongoing project for flood control and redevelopment in the town of Grundy, and Buchanan and Dickenson Counties.  The funding will enable continuation of the voluntary floodproofing and acquisition and administration of the pedestrian bridge contract and the completion of the implementation of flood warning and emergency evacuation plans in Buchanan and Dickenson Counties.

  • Clinch River Watershed; Tazewell, Russell, Scott, Lee and Wise Counties, VA -- $130,000

Funding would enable the initiation of a feasibility study of ecosystem restoration of the Clinch River Watershed, which is home to numerous federally protected species, and boasts an unparalleled variety of ecosystems and is at great ecological risk from nearby coal mining.

According to the Nature Conservancy, the Clinch River basin is the area of greatest ecological risk of any area in the county.  The Clinch River Basin has been designated as the organization’s top priority in the nation, because of the great number of federally protected species located there and the diversity of the ecosystem.  There is a strong regional interest in restoring the degraded ecosystem.

  • New River, Claytor Lake; Claytor Lake, VA -- $90,000

The funding would be used to initiate the Pre-construction, Engineering and Design phase for the Claytor Lake Ecosystem Restoration project which would restore habitat features, establish emergent, transitional and terrestrial vegetation and enable construction of embayment or wetland features in Claytor Lake in Pulaski County, Virginia.

  • Appalachian Regional Commission -- $76 million

The Appalachian Regional Commission, which increases job opportunities, strengthens the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy, develops and improves infrastructure, and builds the Appalachian Development Highway System in the region.

Each year ARC provides funding for several hundred projects throughout the Appalachian Region in support of these goals. These projects create thousands of new jobs, improve local water and sewer systems, increase school readiness, expand access to health care, assist local communities with strategic planning, and provide technical, managerial, and marketing assistance to emerging new businesses.