Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp assured Sen. Murray that the Corps is doing everything possible to meet the critical June deadline for completion of the dam study. Unless the study is completed on time, the project will not be eligible for construction funding for the 2012 fiscal year.
Lt. Gen. Van Antwerp told Murray that the study would be ready.
“The threat of flooding in the valley has created enormous uncertainty and fear for residents, stalled economic development efforts, and cost the County millions of dollars for emergency management preparations,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson, prime sponsor of the motion. “Securing full federal funding for both the interim and permanent fix must be a top priority for leaders at all levels of government.”
The Howard Hanson Dam has provided flood protection for businesses and residents in the Green River Valley since 1961. The Green River Valley watershed, home to nearly 350,000 residents also is the second largest warehouse and product distribution center on the West Coast, representing $37.36 billion in gross business income, 4,500 businesses and over 100,000 jobs. FEMA recently estimated the potential losses from a single flooding in the region could exceed $3.7 billion dollars.
With the former site of Japanese Auto Wrecking at South 262nd Street just 50 yards from the river, the agencies are spending roughly $83,000 to prevent the spread of pollutants from heavily contaminated materials to surrounding properties that include agricultural lands, according to a Jan. 13 King County Department of Natural Resources media release.
The money funded installation of a barrier of “super sacks,” provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, between the wrecking yard and adjacent agricultural lands, along with a pollutant absorbing “boom” adjacent the barrier. Construction of the barrier was completed in November.