Padilla Secures Over $100 million for Water Resiliency, Ocean Research, Ecological Restoration, and Energy Infrastructure Projects in Senate Appropriations Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that he secured nearly $100 million in federal funding for 28 California water and energy infrastructure projects, ocean research, and ecological restoration programs across several Senate appropriations bills. The bill was released by the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday and will now be reconciled with its House counterpart before final passage.

“As California grapples with the impacts of the climate crisis and an escalating megadrought, it is critical that we invest in water resiliency efforts, modernize our energy grid, and restore marine ecosystems,” said Senator Padilla. “I’m proud to champion projects that will improve the stability and reliability of safe drinking water for communities across the state. The health of California’s economy, environment, and people requires meaningful investments in our water infrastructure.”

Projects to improve water resiliency, ocean research, ecological restoration, and energy infrastructure in California:

$40 million for the Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project 

This funding will support design and construction of the levee at Bel Marin Keys, which is part of the Hamilton Wetland Restoration Project to provide restored tidal and seasonal wetlands at the former Army airfield on San Pablo Bay in the city of Novato. The project includes wetland restoration, beneficial use of dredged material sediment, reuse of former military property, and public access and recreation.

$10 million for the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund

Congress created the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund to support local efforts to clean up contaminated groundwater in and around the San Gabriel Valley. This funding will reimburse costs associated with groundwater treatment and remediation.

$8.5 million for Flood Control at Murrieta Creek

This funding will support the Murrieta Creek Flood Control, Environmental Restoration, and Recreation Project, which provides 100-year level of flood protection to the Cities of Murrieta, Temecula, and Wildomar.

$6.095 million for San Joaquin Valley Drought Relief for Wildlife Refuges

This will fund shovel-ready water supply projects for California’s wildlife refuges. This relief funding will help to create new water supply and create resiliency at California wildlife refuges and the last remaining 5% of wetlands in the Central Valley.

$6 million for an Ocean Pollution Research Project by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography

This funding supports a project by UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography focusing on seafloor research to forecast pollution impacts on fisheries.

$5 million for flood controls on Lower Cache Creek

This funding will support preconstruction, engineering, and design of flood controls for Lower Cache Creek in Yolo County which will significantly reduce flood risk to communities in the City of Woodland as well as surrounding areas, including Interstate 5, a major evacuation route for the Central Valley.

$5 million for Sacramento River Basin Flood Plain Reactivation

This funding will continue efforts to reactivate historic floodplains in the Sacramento River Basin to build resiliency in California’s natural infrastructure and water systems by supporting the abundant return of migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway; revitalizing river food webs and supporting the recovery of salmon populations; recharging groundwater aquifers; and improving flood protection.

$2.5 million for the Palermo Clean Water Consolidation Project in Butte County

This funding will support improvements to the existing community water supply system to provide safe drinking water to the residents of Palermo, an unincorporated community located approximately five miles south of the City of Oroville.

$1.75 million for the City of Modesto’s Grayson Well and Tank Replacement

This funding will support the replacement of nitrate treatment equipment to improve the safety of drinking water for residents of the Grayson community.

$1.734 million for Sacramento River Fish Screens

This funding will support fish screens for Sacramento River diversion to improve fishery protection and increase water operation and management efficiencies. This project provides essential protection to threatened and endangered fish species.

$1.5 million for Construction of a New Water Well in the City of Dinuba

This funding will support the building of a new water well to provide safe, clean, and reliable drinking water.

$1.5 million for the Robles Diversion Improvement Project

This is a project to construct physical models to test and validate design improvements at Robles Diversion Facility. Operation of the Bureau of Reclamation-owned Robles Diversion Facility on Ventura River is currently negatively impacted by debris and sediment, which impairs critical water diversions for municipal and agricultural use and fish passage.

$1.45 million for Wastewater Pipeline Design and Preconstruction in Sonoma County

This funding will help construct a wastewater pipeline from Occidental County Sanitation District to the Graton Community Services District for treatment, reuse, and disposal. Currently, Occidental must haul wastewater in large trucks over winding rural roads to a treatment plant 20 miles away. Once the pipeline is constructed, regular wastewater hauling will end, significantly reducing threats to water quality in Atascadero, Green Valley, and Dutch Bill creeks in Sonoma County.

$1.25 million for Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements by the Tolowa Dee-Ni’ Nation

This funding will support improving outdated portions of the Tolowa Dee-Ni’ Nation’s wastewater system. The current system does not meet current environmental regulatory standards, which can result in raw sewage leaks and major health hazards.

$1.15 million for a New Water Well in the Community of Woodville in Tulare County

This funding will support the drilling and equipping of a new water well in the community of Woodville in rural Tulare County, improving the stability and safety of the water supply, which has been compromised during drought conditions.

$1 million for the Copper Cove Water and Wastewater Recycling Facility in Calaveras County

This funding will support improvements to the Copper Cove Water and Wastewater Recycling Facility to provide capacity critical to the health and safety of a rural, underserved community and to protect the surrounding environment.

$1 million for the Groundwater Quality Protection Program in Desert Hot Springs

The Groundwater Quality Protection Program involves water infrastructure upgrades and the transition from thousands of individual septic tank systems to a wastewater collection and treatment system in the greater Desert Hot Springs area. The primary objective of this project is to permanently alleviate wastewater discharge from individuals’ wastewater disposal systems that overlie sensitive groundwater resources in the greater Desert Hot Springs area.

$1 million for Microgrid Installation at California State Maritime Academy

This funding will support installation of a modular comprehensive academic microgrid system on the California State University Maritime Academy campus to serve basic and emergency energy needs by increasing use of renewables. The microgrid will also be used for academic research and for outreach programs targeted at the local community.

$875,000 for the American River Basin Hydrologic Observatory Wireless Sensor Network Project

This funding will support upgrades to sensors to better forecast the reliability and the availability of annual snowpack runoff from the Sierra-Nevada, in order to better prepare for and respond to drought events.

$750,000 for the San Joaquin Valley Water Collaborative Action Program

This funding will support the San Joaquin Valley Water Collaborative Action Program, which works to ensure a sustainable and resilient water supply for the San Joaquin Valley by securing safe, reliable, and affordable access to water for drinking; sustainable and productive farms and ranches; healthy communities; and thriving terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

$500,000 for the City of Santa Clara and Silicon Valley Power’s Fire Station Microgrid Project

This funding will support the City of Santa Clara and Silicon Valley Power’s Fire Station Microgrid Project, which would accelerate deployment of microgrid technologies. A primary objective of the project is to develop utility microgrid standards that will accelerate the integration of technologies such as battery energy storage, photovoltaic solar, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure into the as-built environment.

$500,000 for the Marin Clean Energy Storage Program

Marin Clean Energy’s (MCE) Energy Storage Program expands grid capacity by incentivizing energy storage in homes and critical facilities. MCE will leverage existing energy storage program infrastructure to create an income-qualified, direct install program for the most vulnerable communities. MCE will work with communities to provide technical assistance and turnkey-direct installation of energy storage at community centers, and at select single family residences, with ownership of the systems being retained by the customers.

$500,000 for the Mecca and North Shore Energy Infrastructure Resiliency Project

This project will increase resiliency of Imperial Irrigation District’s energy infrastructure to better serve the rural communities of Mecca and North Shore during extreme weather events.

$500,000 for the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Zero Emission Fuel Cell Line Haul Locomotive Project

This funding will support the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s project to replace one line-haul locomotive engine with a zero-emission propulsion system and install charging infrastructure.

$300,000 for a US Army Corps of Engineers Study on Flood Prevention in Yuba County

This funding will help the US Army Corps of Engineers carry out the Upper Yuba River Basin Comprehensive Study to determine the feasibility of constructing a flood damage reduction project in Yuba County to protect recently repaired levees.

$200,000 for Drinking Water Kiosks in Tulare County

This funding will help provide access to safe clean drinking water for Tulare County residents through strategically placed drinking water kiosks.

$150,000 for a Solar Array to Power a Water Well in Allensworth

This funding will support the installation of solar arrays to power the community’s Allensworth water well, reducing energy costs and improving water affordability.$50,000 for the Upper Santa Clara River Watershed Management Project

This funding will help determine the feasibility of carrying out an aquatic ecosystem restoration project to improve quality of the Santa Clara River watershed, which is struggling with an infestation of invasive plants, primarily Arundo.

These projects and programs were included in the Senate’s Commerce, Justice, Science; Energy and Water; and Interior Appropriations bills. Complete summaries and texts of these bills are available here.

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