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Senate passes appropriations bill

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The U.S. has Senate passed the FY2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for federal water projects in Mississippi and university-led energy research.

“Senate passage of this bill is a key step toward providing the funding we need to operate and maintain the federal water projects that are important to life in Mississippi. It includes funding for the levee system, as well as water and wastewater projects,” Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said.

In addition to funding water projects administered by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, Cochran said the bill also directs Department of Energy resources to universities in Mississippi for energy-related research and development. The Energy and Water Appropriations Bill (HR.3183) also funds a number of independent agencies such as the Appalachian Regional Commission and Delta Regional Authority.

Highlights of Mississippi projects funded in the Senate-passed bill are:

• Mississippi River Levee Construction & Maintenance — $57.1 million for levee construction ($45.4 million) and maintenance ($11.7 million)

• Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway — $25 million for operation and maintenance, in addition to $2.5 million for wildlife mitigation activities

• Water and wastewater projects — $10 million for water and wastewater projects authorized under the Water Resources Development Act/Section 592

• DeSoto County Regional Utility Authority — $8 million to support the DeSoto County regional wastewater system

• Mississippi River flood control — more than $82.7 million directed to harbor and river projects

• Sustainable Energy Research Center, Mississippi State University — $10 million to support engineering and scientific research related to creating renewable transportation fuel industries

• Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Richton — $30 million for engineering and site characterization

• Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium, University of Mississippi — $1.2 million to continue development and deployment of an integrated multi-sensor station for continuous monitoring of hydrates and the gas hydrate stability zone in the Gulf of Mexico

• Nanostructured materials for improved photovoltaics, University of Southern Mississippi — $1 million to develop photovoltaic devices for commercial renewable energy use

• High-speed wind turbine noise model with suppression, University of Mississippi — $1 million to investigate blade modifications to control wind turbine noise

• Appalachian Regional Commission — $76 million

• Delta Regional Authority — $13 million

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