Washington Company Awarded $322,820 of Economic Recovery Funding to Replace Fire Suppression Systems at New Melones Powerplant

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: January 15, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, has awarded a $322,820 contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Suppression Systems, Inc., based in Tacoma, Wash.

The company will replace the outdated fire suppression systems in the oil storage room and the oil purifier room at the New Melones Powerplant (Powerplant) in California.  The work includes removing the existing system components; designing, furnishing, and installing new electrical and fire protection systems along with automatic fire detection, fire dampers and associated ductwork; and interfacing and providing power for a new fire suppression release panel.  The Powerplant, located in Calaveras County, is part of the East Side Division of the Central Valley Project, and is situated downstream from the New Melones Dam on the Stanislaus River, approximately 40 miles east of Stockton. 

 "The ARRA funds will provide the New Melones Powerplant with needed upgrades to ensure the safety of the staff.  Complying with current health and safety standards will ensure Reclamation's mission for the continued safety of its workforce while providing the power that California depends upon," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed earlier this year gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.  

The ARRA funds represent an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century.  Under the ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures - our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage - while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery. Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General and ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.