U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, a member of the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, submitted the following 15th District projects for possible inclusion in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) currently being drafted. This legislation authorizes federal water resources programs and provides funding for flood control, environmental infrastructure and aquatic ecosystem restoration projects across the United States.

Congressman Dent issued the following statement concerning these local priorities:

“I have worked with federal, regional, county, and municipal officials to submit requests that truly reflect the water resources needs of the 15th District. I am confident I have put forth projects for the Committee’s consideration that will improve our ability to combat significant flooding events and enhance the natural environment of our region.”

As the Committee develops this legislation, it is possible that these initiatives may not receive federal support:

• Southeastern Pennsylvania Designation, Berks, Lehigh and Northampton County, PA: To expand authority in the Southeastern Pennsylvania regional program, established in Section 566 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996, by including Berks, Lehigh and Northampton Counties in Pennsylvania. Water resource infrastructure problems are widespread throughout Pennsylvania and are not limited to southeastern PA as stated in the original authority. The proposed modifications would allow Federal assistance for water-related environmental infrastructure, resource protection and development, flood damage reduction and ecosystem restoration to be provided on an equal basis to communities within the region.

• Lehigh River, PA, Flood Control Project, Local Protection, Bethlehem, PA: To facilitate the mechanical and electrical replacement, rehabilitation and/or improvement of the storm water pump stations along the Lehigh River in Bethlehem, PA, as authorized by Section 10 of the Flood Control Act of 1946. The current storm water pump station is antiquated and in need of major repairs. Various components for the pumps are no longer available, which threatens the integrity of the area’s flood reduction capabilities.