Bill To Strengthen Kentucky's Water Infrastructure Passes Senate
A bill transferring control of infrastructure on the Barren and Green rivers to local communities has passed the U.S. Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement the legislation will give more control to Kentucky communities and help with flood protection in Paducah.
The bill will transfer control of inoperable locks and dams along Barren and Green rivers from the U.S. Army Corps of engineers to state and local entities. That will allow local communities to do necessary repairs and maintenance.
The issue has received increased attention after Green River Dam at Mammoth Cave NationalPark failed in November. Communities surrounding the park hope to eventually remove the dam to restore natural flows and enhance river-based recreation and tourism.
The legislation increases a federal authorization cap that will allow Paducah to complete its flood protection infrastructure repair project. The bill will also transfer control of Rochester Dam to the Rochester Dam Regional Water Commission. People and businesses in six counties rely on the dam as a water source and have sought local control of the infrastructure for years.