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The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorizes studies and projects within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (ACOE) key mission areas including navigation, shoreline protection, environmental restoration, and natural disaster damage reduction. WRDA has traditionally been reauthorized every two years. However, the last WRDA was enacted into law in late 2007 (PL 110-114).

ACOE projects must go through two steps. First, Congress must pass a WRDA, which authorizes the project. Then, Congress must appropriate funding for the project in one of the annual Energy and Water Development appropriations bills. Projects included in an authorization bill are not necessarily guaranteed to receive appropriations, as the number of WRDA-authorized projects far exceeds the funding available in any given year.

To address new priorities that have come up since the last bill, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) is now in the process of developing a Water Resources Development Act for the 112th Congress.      

After soliciting projects from towns, cities, and relevant organizations across the state, Senator Blumenthal submitted the following requests for consideration in this year’s WRDA:

City of Bridgeport 
Ox Brook Flood Control Project: This project would authorize multiple phases of construction to reduce and control flooding in a vulnerable area. A series of berms would be constructed, along with outlet controls, channel widening improvements, and large diameter pipe installations downstream. 

Town of Canton 
Nepaug Reservoir Dam Repairs: This project would authorize completion of structural improvements to the Nepaug Reservoir Dam, which was originally constructed in 1918. The reservoir currently provides about 20 million gallons per day of drinking water from its 9.5 billion gallon storage capacity to approximately 400,000 people.

State of Connecticut 
Study of Regional Sediment Management for Connecticut Coast: This project would authorize a study of regional sediment management for the Connecticut coastline. Regional sediment management plans will identify and evaluate potential sources of sediment and opportunities for beneficial uses of sediment from the construction, operation, or maintenance of authorized Civil Works projects.
Town of East Hartford
Flood Protection System Rehabilitation: This project would authorize an upgrade to the Town of EastHartford’s flood protection system. The town’s system requires a series of upgrades to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U. S. Army Corps. of Engineers (ACOE) standards, maintain levee accreditation and active status, and ensure protection of lives and property for those who live and work near the town’s levee system.
City of Hartford
Flood System Improvements: This project would authorize improvements to the flood control infrastructure and prepare for the construction of the last section of river walk. This project would address deficiencies in the flood protection system such as the potential under-seepage problem, exploration of and permanent abandonment of unused utility lines that penetrate through the dike, upgrading existing closure structures, and the replacement of a dike wall.
University of Hartford 
North Branch Park River Dam Removal Project: This project would authorize the removal of an existing failing dam over the North Branch of the Park River located on the campus of the University of Hartford, and its replacement with a vehicle and pedestrian bridge.
The Mattabassett District
Nitrogen Treatment Upgrade:
This project would authorize nitrogen treatment upgrades at the wastewater treatment facility. The upgrades would include going transitioningfrom a 20 million gallon/day (Mgal/d) secondary treatment facility to a 35 Mgal/d tertiary wastewater treatment facility.
The Nature Conservancy
National Sustainable Rivers Program: This program would authorize adjustments to the operation of dams and other water control structures and restore associated floodplains to better protect water quality, fish and wildlife, and habitat while preserving other benefits to society such as flood protection, hydroelectric power, water supply, and recreation. Community benefits include restored ecosystems and improved water quality, flood protection, and recreation for local communities in Connecticut and across the nation.
The Nature Conservancy
Northeast Coastal Region Ecosystem Restoration: This program would authorize the Corps’ North Atlantic Division to a) complete a Coastal & Marine Management Plan for essential ecosystem restoration needs in the North Atlantic region, and b) implement the Plan’s top priority projects.
City of New Haven
Quinnipiac River Shorefront Stabilization Project: This project would authorize construction of bulkhead restorations and storm water damage repairs at three separate river locations along the QuinnipiacRiver in New Haven.

Town of New Milford
Bleachery Dam Renovation Project: This project would authorize renovations and upgrades to Bleachery Dam on the HousatonicRiver. Specifically, this project will restore and enhance the river’s environment by controlling flows and flood stages during storms.

South Central
Connecticut Regional Water Authority Lake Saltonstall Intake Modifications: This project would authorize reconstructing theLake Saltonstall raw water pumping station and intake. The new intake will draw water from the deeper section of the lake, and be capable of drawing water from multiple depths. The intake and raw water pumping station are a critical component of the Saltonstall Water Treatment Plant, which is the source of water for over 50,000 residents in East Haven, Branford, and New Haven.
Town of Sprague
Reactivation of the Baltic Reservoir: This project would authorize the second phase of the reactivation through the repair of the second of the reservoir’s two dams, and preparation of engineering documents for the construction of the treatment plant/filtration system.
Town of Sprague 
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Upgrades to Wastewater Pump Stations: This project would authorize several OSHA-mandated upgrades to wastewater pump stations in Hanover.

Town of Sprague 
Wastewater Treatment Plant: This project would authorize major upgrades at the facility to ensure the biological andsludge handling and equipment processes are capable of continued treatment, and meet mandated nutrient removal criteria for at least 20 years.

City of Stamford 
Stamford Hurricane Barrier Pumping Stations: This project would confirm that the prior authorization (Rivers and Harbors Act of 1960, P.L. 86-645, Title II, Section 203) of the Stamford Hurricane Barrier includes the authority of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tomaintain the pumping stations associated with the Hurricane Barrier, all three of which are outdated and need to be replaced.
City of Stamford
Rippowam River Watershed Ecosystem Restoration: This project would authorize the study, design, engineering, and construction ofecosystem restoration improvements on the Rippowam River. The Rippowam River (which becomes the Mill River as it enters the Long Island Sound) is extremely degraded by years of polluted urban runoff and sedimentation, harming the river ecosystem and thwarting public enjoyment of the resource.
City of Stamford
Mill River Navigation Improvements: This project would authorize navigation improvements to existing dock and navigation channel. The City of Stamford is planning a public high-speed ferry intended to operate between Stamford, New York’s financial district, and LaGuardia Airport.  Any future ferry operations require the repair and improvement to the existing dock, seawall, and sheathing.
City of Waterbury
Waterbury Waste Treatment Plant Improvement Project: This project would authorize the installation of equipment to reduce phosphorous and other heavy metals discharged into the Naugatuck River and Long Island Sound.