Denham Highlights Orestimba Creek Flood Control Project in Major Water Legislation

Oct 23, 2013 Issues: Water

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today highlighted the Orestimba Creek Flood Control project along the northwestern perimeter of the city of Newman during debate concerning the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA).

Please click here to view Rep. Denham's full remarks.

In a colloquy on the House floor, Rep. Denham urged Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) to include the September 2013 Chief’s Report, which is a culmination of the many years of effort by local organizations and the Army Corps of Engineers to determine the best way to complete the Orestimba Creek levee project, in the bill. In response to Rep. Denham’s urging, Chairman Shuster committed Congress to addressing the Orestimba Creek project as soon as possible.

“This bipartisan legislation will streamline the Corps of Engineers study process and expedite permit processing, saving taxpayers time and money,” said Rep. Denham. “As WRRDA moves forward, I am committed to seeing construction of the flood control project in Newman, which will help protect thousands of Stanislaus County residents from the destructive impacts of flooding. I have been working on this project many years and look forward to seeing it completed.”

“I was proud to work with Chairman Denham on this important bill, which makes major reforms to increase the transparency and accountability of the Corps of Engineers,” said Chairman Shuster. “Strengthening our water infrastructure is vital in keeping the United States globally competitive while saving lives and money.”

Rep. Denham has been working on this issue since his time in the California state Senate, holding meetings with community leaders and city of Newman officials and engaging with residents to generate ideas for the best way to complete the levee project.

Orestimba Creek has historically overflowed its banks, often damaging the city of Newman and surrounding areas and threatening the well-being of area residents.

WRRDA is used to authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, enabling the Corps to support the nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure needs. Under WRRDA, the Corps also supports effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration projects across the country. This kind of authorization legislation has not been signed into law since 2007, though historically such a bill has been passed every two years. WRRDA provides direction to the Administration and to the Corp. The bill passed with huge bipartisan support in a 417-3 vote. 

More information about WRRDA is available here.