Bureau of Reclamation Announces $705,850 of Economic Recovery Funding for Improvements to Pinto Dam near Stratford, Wash.

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
James Blanchard, (509) 754-0226

For Release: May 06, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Bureau of Reclamation, an agency of the Department of the Interior, awarded a contract to Associated Underwater Services, Inc., Spokane, Wash., for improvements to Pinto Dam for $705,850 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Pinto Dam is located approximately 3 miles northeast of Stratford, Wash., in Grant County. These improvements are a component of the Potholes Supplemental Feed Route project which is modifying existing facilities to route water from Pinto Dam to the Potholes Reservoir.

The ARRA funds will be used for high-pressure gate modifications to Pinto Dam that supplies irrigation water to the Columbia Basin Project. The dam forms Billy Clapp Lake, an off-stream reservoir.

"Improvements to this project will have a long-lasting and positive impact to the Columbia Basin Project's economic vitality through an efficient water delivery system," said Reclamation Commissioner Mike Connor.

Once completed, the gate modification will replace a gate that was installed during the construction of the dam in 1948. The new gate system will be operated from the control center in Ephrata, Wash., which will allow more precise water releases for maintenance or during emergencies. The gate will also be utilized to supply water to the Potholes Reservoir Supplemental Feed Route.

Pinto Dam is a vital part of the Reclamation's infrastructure that provides water for multiple purposes to the Columbia Basin Project.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was enacted in 2009 provided $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.

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