Matsui Introduces Natomas Flood Protection Act

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (CA – 05) yesterday introduced the Natomas Basin Flood Protection Improvements Act. This bill would authorize federal participation in the Natomas Levee Improvement Program, which will ultimately give the Natomas Basin over 200-year level of protection.

“This bill will assist with expediting the completion of urgently needed improvements that protect the people of Natomas. A key component towards addressing public safety concerns in the area is seeking federal authorization to allow for these upgrades to move forward more quickly,” stated Rep. Matsui.

In July, 2006, the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) identified significant levee deficiencies in the 42-mile perimeter of the Natomas basin, leading to decertification of the levees and remapping to an AE zone designation in December, 2008.

Without repairing the levees the entire Natomas Basin is at risk, which includes: 80,000 people; $8 billion in damageable property; the Sacramento International Airport; Interstate 5 and 80; and State Highway 99. The Natomas basin is a key transportation hub for the region and a critical part of the regional economy. Each year of delay exposes the community, as well as the State of California and the nation, to additional risk, increased program costs, and direct and indirect impacts to the economic health of the region.

“This bill is essential to keeping our construction of Natomas Levee Improvement on schedule. SAFCA has demonstrated that it can rapidly plan, design, and construct these improvements, but we simply must have an assurance of federal participation to continue construction after 2009, which if enacted into law, this bill would provide. We deeply appreciate Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s leadership and support for this urgent flood control project,” said Susan Peters, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency.

“I have been working with SAFCA and the Army Corps of Engineers on a daily basis, and it is clear that we must move swiftly to reduce the risk of flooding in the Natomas Basin. If passed, this needed legislation will help ensure the safety of the residents and businesses in the basin, the regional economy, the State, and our nation,” stated Rep. Matsui.

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