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Rep. Huberty Sends TWDB Letter of Support for $30 Million Harris County Grant Program

State Representative Dan Huberty sent the following email to members of the Texas Water Development Board today:

State Representative Dan Huberty

District 127

SENT VIA EMAIL

January 15, 2019

Texas Water Development Board

1700 North Congress Avenue

Austin, TX 78701

To the Board of Directors of the Texas Water Development Board:

I am writing to you today to express my support for Item #10 on the Agenda for the Board Meeting on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Approval of this item is the final step in a process I started a year ago during the 86th Legislative Session. With the support of former House Appropriations Chairman John Zerwas, I was able to add an amendment to Senate Bill 500, or the Supplemental Budget, granting $30 million to Harris County for the removal of sediment and siltation in Lake Houston and the San Jacinto River. This project is vital to prevent future flooding in the Lake Houston region and increase the capacity of the water source for the largest city in the State of Texas.

The federal government did conduct a separate dredging project through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency via Mission Assignment SWD-30. That project just concluded in December 2019 and resulted in the successful removal of more than 2,300,000 cubic yards (CY) of material and debris from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. But it is evident, both visually and scientifically, that dredging must continue in order to safeguard the region. The Mission Assignment was not extended so it is now up to us at the state and local levels to step-up and do our part to protect our residents.

Harris County has worked closely with the City of Houston, Harris County Flood Control District, the San Jacinto River Authority and the Coastal Water Authority to craft a phased project to utilize the $30 million grant. The result is a combination of federal, state and local funds to remove 400,000 CY of material from the West Fork of the San Jacinto River within 8 months during Phase 1; and the additional removal of material throughout Lake Houston in Phase 2. To accomplish this, the CoH issued a “Notice to Proceed” early last week and their contractor DRC Emergency Services, LLC has resumed operations, so action is already underway.

In order to ensure the success of this collaboration, it is crucial that you approve Item #10 on your Board Agenda tomorrow. I hope you will take this into consideration when you are voting on this issue. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your attention to this item.

Sincerely,

Dan Huberty

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