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Energy & Environment

USDA Announces Watershed Projects In W.Va.

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Kara Lofton
/
WVPB
A project announced by the USDA will look at stream stabilization and flood prevention in White Sulphur Springs. The area was hit by flooding in 2016.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced more than $14 million in funding for eight projects in West Virginia.

The projects include rehabilitating dams, flood prevention and watershed restoration projects. They are funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — also known as the bipartisan infrastructure law.

This announcement builds on $6.3 million in projects announced earlier this year, bringing the total investment to $20.4 million in 26 projects.

Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, made the announcement in White Sulphur Springs.

Part of the funding will be used to evaluate flood protection and other natural resource concerns along Howard Creek, which experienced a devastating flood in 2016 that killed eight people in town.

“We recognize that President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild our infrastructure,” Bonnie said. “These projects create good-paying jobs and improve economies in rural America. USDA offers several watershed programs that help communities rebuild after natural disasters and build resilience”

Today’s infrastructure announcement includes funding through two programs: the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program provides technical and financial assistance for new watershed infrastructure, and the Watershed Rehabilitation Program (REHAB) upgrades existing Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) dams.

Individual projects listed below:

  • Big Ditch Run Site, Webster County – Funding will be used for the planning phase of dam rehabilitation to address current design safety and performance deficiencies.
  • New Creek 1, Mineral County – Funding will be used to bring New Creek Site 1 into compliance with current dam design safety and engineering criteria and performance standards while continuing to provide flood protection.
  • Saltlick Creek 4, Braxton County – Funding will be used for the planning phase for rehabilitation of the structures that serve developments downstream and bring the dams to design safety criteria and performance standards.
  • Saltlick Creek 6, Braxton County – Funding will be used for the planning phase for rehabilitation of the structures that serve developments downstream and bring the dams to design safety criteria and performance standards.
  • Saltlick Creek 7, Braxton County – Funding will be used for the planning phase for rehabilitation of the structures that serve developments downstream and bring the dams to design safety criteria and performance standards.
  • Saltlick Creek 8, Braxton County – Funding will be used for the planning phase for rehabilitation of the structures that serve developments downstream and bring the dams to design safety criteria and performance standards.
  • Saltlick Creek 9, Braxton County – Funding will be used for the planning phase for rehabilitation of the structures that serve developments downstream and bring the dams to design safety criteria and performance standards.
  • Elk Creek Watershed Flood Control, Harrison County – Funding will be used to determine the feasibility of flood control protection through dams, channels, or other measures.
  • Little Whitestick Creek, Greenbrier County – Funding will be used to examine current hydrology and hydraulics of the project area and recommend additional measures that can be taken to reduce flooding in the vicinity.
  • Howard Creek Watershed, Greenbrier County – Funding will be used to look at the potential of additional flood protection, water supply and other watershed resource concerns.
  • Bluewell PSD Dam Removals, Mercer County – Funding will be used to decommission existing structures and look for alternate water supplies.
  • Elkhorn Creek Watershed, McDowell County – Funding will be used for construction to mitigate future flooding and the acquisition of floodplain easements.

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