Press Release

Houses Passes Important Water Infrastructure Bill

Bill Provides Authorization for Chacon Creek Feasibility Study the Congressman Cuellar Secured

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WASHINGTON, December 8, 2016 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639) | comments

Today Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) made the following statement upon passage of the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act), S. 612. The bill passed the House on a vote of 360-61 and now heads to the Senate.  WIIN provides authorization for water and construction projects under the authority of the Army Corps of Engineers. The measure includes language sponsored by Congressman Cuellar authorizing Army Corps of Engineers to assist in a feasibility study on flood damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, and recreation development along Chacon Creek in Laredo.  This project intends to turn the flood risk area into a vibrant part of the city.

The Chacon Creek watershed drains 155 square miles in Webb County, a greater area than any other watershed in the Laredo area and poses a serious risk that a large storm could produce dangerous runoff, causing harm to lives and structures, such as bridges and drainage structures, to the tune of around $20 million. 

Congressman Cuellar has been working to revitalize the Chacon Creek area since starting in Congress in 2005 when he secured $3.3 million to build a hike and bike trail along the creek and has since worked with the City of Laredo and Army Corps of Engineers to address flooding and safety issues.  The City of Laredo is moving forward taking proactive steps to mitigate the risk but is seeking assistance from Army Corps of Engineers.  Congressman Cuellar was successful in adding language to the House FY17 Energy and Water Appropriations Act encouraging Army Corps of Engineers to work with the City to identify opportunities to assist in the Chacon Creek project.

“Chacon Creek poses a flood risk and until recently couldn’t be used for recreation. This feasibility study to determine if important construction can go forward to reduce the flooding risk will complement and backstop the other work the City has already begun to revitalize the area, such as the hike and bike trail currently being constructed which I helped secure federal funding for.”

WIIN is a comprehensive bill to address water related resources and infrastructure across the nation.  The bill authorizes $10 billion for thirty new Army Corps of Engineers water projects to improve and restore our nation’s ports, levees and Everglades along with important drinking water and wastewater efforts. The bill also authorizes $170 million to aid Flint, Michigan to repair its lead-contaminated drinking water systems.
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