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McCarthy Statement on $30M Contract Award to Start Construction at Schafer Dam

Earlier this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded a contract for up to $30 million to begin construction on Phase I of the Success Reservoir Enlargement Project (SREP) for the right abutment widening and road relocation at the Richard L. Schafer Dam. 

Congressman McCarthy issued the following statement on the award:

“A top priority of mine has been to see Success Reservoir enlarged to increase flood protection for the city of Porterville, other communities, and the hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland below Schafer Dam. After securing funding for this project and years of meetings with USACE officials to advance this project, the award of this contract denotes a key milestone in the SREP – the commencement of construction at Schafer Dam following an approximate 15-year pause. I want to commend Brigadier General Colloton, Colonel Handura, and the USACE project team on their continued work to see the SREP through to completion, and I want to thank the Tule River Improvement Joint Powers Authority and other local stakeholders for the support and dedication to advancing this project.”

Background

  • Congress authorized the SREP in the Water Resources Development Act of 1999 as a flood control project.
  • Construction of the SREP started in 2003, but was put on hold in 2005 following potential safety concerns with Schafer Dam. These safety concerns have been resolved, allowing the project to advance.
  • In October 2016, Congressman McCarthy hosted senior USACE officials at Schafer Dam to discuss the SREP and tour the structure. Following that visit, the USACE allocated $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 to the SREP, the first direct funding this project received in more than 10 years at that time.
  • In February 2018, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Bipartisan Budget Act (Public Law 115-123). Congressman McCarthy worked to include over $15 billion in this law for the USACE to construct flood and storm damage projects. Following this law’s passage, the USACE fully funded the SREP.
  • On May 18, 2020, the Department of the Army issued a contract to Central Environmental Incorporated for up to $30 million for Phase I of the SREP for the right abutment widening of the emergency spillway and relocation of an existing road. You can see the award notice here.
  • According to USACE officials, SREP Phase II awards are expected in Fiscal Year 2021. Phase II will raise the existing emergency spillway at Schafer Dam by ten feet.
  • On August 8, 2019 legislation sponsored by Rep. McCarthy to rename Success Dam as the Richard L. Schafer Dam was signed into law by President Trump.

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