House of Reps Approves & Sends To Senate & Then To President Multi-Billion-Dollar Bill w/ $90,000 For Corps of Engineers Review Of Possible Fed'l Interest in Reconfiguring Breakwater; City Mgm't Credits Cong. Richardson For Appropriation Three Times Higher Than City Hall Requested
(Oct. 1, 2009) -- As first flashed on LBReport.com's front page (www.lbreport.com) earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives this afternoon (Oct. 1) passed the House-Senate Conference Committee version of the multi-billion-dollar FY10 Energy/Water appropriations bill which includes $90,000 for Corps of Engineers review of a study of the LB Breakwater.
Image source: City of LB
The $90,000 sum should provide sufficient funding for Corps of Engineers to make its determination on whether there's a federal interest in reconfiguring the Breakwater, City Hall Gov't Affairs Mgr. Tom Modica told LBReport.com. Mr. Modica noted that the $90,000 figure is three times higher than what city management initially requested.
"It was Congresswoman Richardson who sought funding for the full $90,000, and got it," he said.
Mr. Modica added that inclusion of the $90k in the House-Senate Conference Committee version of the bill, which was then promptly sent ot the full House for passage today (Oct. 1), "is a testament to the hard work of Cong. aura Richardson and the CA delegation."
[LBReport.com comment: Mr. Modica was a key figure in city management throughout the lengthy Breakwater review/legislative process.]
The House version of the Energy and Water Subcommittee Appropriation bill included $100,000 for the Breakwater study, but the Senate version didn't include any funding for the study; ensuring a $90,000 sum in the final joint House-Senate conference committee version of the bill was a key development.
"For years our community has pondered potential changes to the Breakwater," said Mayor Bob Foster in a City Hall release. "While the City has conducted its own study, only the Army Corps can determine if there is federal interest in pursuing changes to the Breakwater or the East San Pedro Bay. These funds will allow the Army Corps to review the City's study and make that determination of federal interest."
"The City’s study showed that there are some potential changes that can be made to improve water quality, while protecting homes, navigation, and all the other complex operations in the East San Pedro Bay," said Councilman Gary DeLong, who chairs the Council's Federal Legislation Committee. "I look forward to hearing the Army Corps’ thoughts on what potential there may be to help us improve the water quality in Long Beach," he said in the release.
"Long Beach owes a great deal of thanks to Congresswoman Laura Richardson for spearheading the effort to secure funding for this project," said Councilmember Patrick O’Donnell in the release. "The City Council has pursued this funding for several years, and are very pleased that our Congresswoman was successful in her efforts."
The Long Beach Breakwater Reconnaissance Study (formally titled the East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study) was commissioned by the LB City Council and completed by Moffatt & Nichol, a local engineering firm in July 2009.
"The reconnaissance study is just one of the initial stages in a multi-year, multi-million dollar process that could potentially lead to reconfiguring the breakwater or making other changes in the East San Pedro Bay," says a city management release.
The multi-billion dollar bill, already approved by Senate conferees, now goes to the full Senate for final passage...and then to the White House for President Obama's signature.