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THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

“A story in today’s (Sacramento) Bee raised the issue of Natomas’ own levee issues. What is the status of repair and the federal appropriation necessary to lift the moratorium?”

Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s office answers:

“Last week’s announcement from the Corps has absolutely no bearing on future levee improvements in Natomas. The authorization of the Natomas Levee Improvement Project (NLIP) remains Congresswoman Matsui’s number one priority in Congress. Unfortunately, the Republican absolute earmark ban continues to prevent this project from moving forward. This earmark ban includes the authorization of fully vetted flood protection projects, such as the NLIP. The Republican earmark ban must be changed to be flexible enough to accommodate cost-effective projects, such as the NLIP.”

“In the meantime, given the stifling nature of the earmark ban, Congresswoman Matsui has looked for other avenues to get the NLIP authorized and keep the project moving. She has introduced legislation, the Flood Protection Public Safety Act (H.R. 4353) which would authorize ‘public safety flood risk management projects that have Corps Chief Reports.’ This language effectively gets around the earmark ban and would authorize four projects nationwide, including Natomas. Congresswoman Matsui continues to strongly encourage Speaker Boehner to bring H.R. 4353 to the House floor for a vote. It is her sincere hope that he will see the pressing need to authorize the Natomas levee project this year.”

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