Rep. Peter DeFazio recently announced that he secured $3.825 million for projects in southwest Oregon in the House version of the Fiscal Year 2022 Interior Appropriations Bill.
ìI am proud to have secured this much-needed funding for these critical projects in southwest Oregon,î said Rep. DeFazio. ìThese projects will protect our communityís drinking water, reduce the likelihood and severity of wildfires in our area, and make our infrastructure more resilient against the threat of climate change. I will continue to fight for our district to ensure that we get the federal funding we need to make our community stronger.î
$3.5 million for the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant owned and operated by the Port of Brookings to improve compliance with state and federal clean water standards, return environmentally safe discharge into the water cycle, provide new capacity for the growing region, and build resilience against natural disasters.
$125,000 for floodplain restoration and site improvements on Finn Rock Reach, situated in the middle reach of the McKenzie River. The McKenzie River is the sole source of drinking water for the City of Eugene, OR. Floodplain restoration in strategic areas can attenuate the risks to water quality, provide greatly improved habitat for threatened and endangered fish and wildlife species, and provide resilience to wildfires. In September 2020, the Holiday Farm Fire burned within the area, burning over 170,000 acres (over 20%) of the middle portion of the McKenzie Watershed and destroyed over 400 homes, increasing risk of flooding, landslides, erosion, and debris flows for years ahead. These impacts affect the immediate community as well as the water supply for residents downstream in metropolitan Springfield and Eugene, OR. The fire has made expedited restoration in this area an immediate need.
$200,000 for fuel reduction efforts in forested areas in the greater Springfield area. The Holiday Farm Fire came within about 6 miles of Springfieldís Thurston Hills Natural Area and surrounding communities. Had the fire reached Springfield, the losses would have been even more catastrophic. This project would be used for fuel reduction efforts in forested areas in the greater Springfield area. Robust funding of fuel treatments would provide the catalyst needed to initiate treatments in areas not previously treated. This vital work would result in more manageable projects that could be done on an annual basis with existing resources, operating budgets, and leveraging on-going funding.
The inclusion of this funding in the Appropriations Committee draft bill is the first step in the funding process. Rep. DeFazio will continue to fight for this funding as the bill moves to the full Appropriations Committee, consideration on the House Floor, and negotiations with the Senate.