Congressman Cleaver Supports Water Infrastructure Bill that Includes Kansas City Projects
Assistance for Residents of Flint, Michigan also Included
(Washington, D.C.) – After much deliberation, yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), H.R. 5303. Earlier this week, Democratic Caucus members fervently argued for an amendment that would provide repairs and health services to the residents of Flint, Michigan, without success. Today, however, House Republicans have agreed to an amendment that will authorize $170 million to repair and replace public and private infrastructure in Flint and across the country. The Senate’s version of WRDA (S. 2848), includes $220 million in emergency funding for infrastructure and health and community services for Flint and other communities facing lead contaminated water issues.
“There are 9,000 children under the age of six who were exposed to lead through no fault of their own. It was unfathomable to me that nothing had been included to help these families. I’m glad that has since changed and both parties were able to agree that something should be done to help those suffering from lead poisoning. Even low blood lead concentrations can cause long-term intellectual and academic disabilities and higher rates of neurobehavioral disorders,” said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II.
In addition, several flood protection projects in the Kansas City area are included in the final House bill. In a successful bi-partisan effort, Missouri Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-05) and Sam Graves (R- 06) advocated for the inclusion of these Kansas City projects in WRDA, which authorizes flood control and other water infrastructure projects conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers.
“This is critical to protecting Kansas City businesses and families against the devastation of floods,” said Congressman Cleaver.
Authorization for Turkey Creek Basin, Blue River Basin (Dodson Industrial Area), Swope Park Industrial Area, and Armourdale and Central Industrial District Levees will ensure these construction projects continue to move forward. The target areas in Kansas City that would receive significant improvements are;
• Turkey Creek Basin Flood Project – Increased authorization to $152.5 million for the final phases would widen the channel, relocate bridges, and include tunnel modifications to finish the project. Turkey Creek flows 15 miles through the Kansas City metro, and its frequent flooding poses serious risks to loss of life and residential and commercial areas.
• Blue River Basin Project in the Dodson Industrial District – Increased authorization to $46.5 million for the final phase would complete this project and would include a 6,800 foot levee floodwall along the north bank of the Blue River, protecting over $380 million in property investment and the 1,500 people who work in the area.
• Armourdale and Central Industrial District Levees –Authorization of $318.5 million to start construction of Phase II of the project. These levees cover 60 miles along the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, providing critical flood project to the economic heart of Kansas City. The project protects over 5,000 structures totaling over $20 billion in investments, plus serving as home to 24,000 people.
• Swope Park Industrial Area – Increased authorization to $31 million to complete the project. Swope Park Industrial Area is a 50-acre business park with multiple companies and over 400 employees. The site sits along the Blue River, and only one access road exists into the park. The project will provide flooding relief and create a permanent safe passage for workers in and out of the industrial area.
For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or Heather.Frierson@mail.house.gov.
Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.