February 24, 2009

Over $28 Million in New Mexico Energy and Water Projects Included in Budget Bill

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-N.M., today announced that over $28 million energy and water related projects he requested has been included in the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) Omnibus Appropriations Bill.


"This appropriations bill contains vital funding for the people of New Mexico, from helping us fully expand our capacity for renewable energy development and production to protecting the waterways and acequias throughout the state," said Udall.


"I am extremely pleased this bill includes funding for so many critical projects throughout New Mexico. From spurring job creation to local economic development to furthering our ability to harness our natural resources, this is an important bill for all our communities," he continued.


The projects, which then-Rep. Udall requested include the following:


Department of Energy (DOE) Projects


Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes (MaRIE) - $7,520,500

Funding for Los Alamos National Laboratory to plan and design a signature science research complex to test all types of materials under a variety of extreme conditions, including the next generation of solar panels, structural materials and other developing technologies in renewable energies. Udall requested $7 million for the project from the House Energy and Water Subcommittee.


Sapphire Energy Algae to Fuel Demonstration Project - $951,000

This funding establishes a demonstration project in Portales, New Mexico, to create and grow a fuel-producing algae using technology that genetically enhances algal organisms. It is estimated that 100 local jobs will be created from this funding and could help in significantly reducing our nation's dependence on fossil fuels.


Navajo Tribal Utility Authority - $1,903,000

Funding to provide for the rural electrification of homes on the Navajo reservation that lack basic electrical services, nearly 18,000 homes in total.


Army Corp of Engineers Projects


Española Valley, Rio Grande and Tributaries - $382,000

To allow for the continuation of a cost-shared watershed study on ecosystem restoration along the Rio Grande.


Rio Grande Basin - $478,000

To identify ways to integrate the programs, policies and resources of various governmental entities in New Mexico, Colorado and Texas to address water conveyance and delivery, ecosystem degradation, and flooding in the area.


Santa Fe, New Mexico - $27,000

To complete the Watershed Management Plan, created to achieve flood damage reduction, environmental restoration and watershed planning.


Acequias Irrigation System, New Mexico - $1,914,000

To continue the design and construction of five acequia rehabilitation projects located in Northern New Mexico.


Central New Mexico - $2,871,000

To complete construction of Rio Rancho Water Supply Phases I & II and Bernalillo Arsenic Treatment, award Black Mesa Phase II, and initiate Bernalillo Water Improvements.


New Mexico Environmental Infrastructure - $3,828,000

To construct improvement projects in Miami, Clayton, Santa Rosa, and Blue Hole Lake for the purposes of water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection and development.

The following funds Udall requested for the operation and maintenance of ongoing Army Corp of Engineer projects:


· Abiquiu Dam - $2,061,000

· Cochiti Lake -$2,220,000

· Conchas Lake - $1,082,000

· Galisteo Dam - $393,000

· Jemez Canyon Dam - $635,000

· Upper Rio Grande Water Operations Model (URGWOM) -$1,115,000

· Middle Rio Grande Endangered Species Collaborative Program (MRGESCP) -$200,000

· Completed Works Inspection - $753,000, for increased facility inspection and Flood Risk Management Program.