Representatives Sherrill and Pascrell Host a Press Conference on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Funding for the Peckman River Basin Project
Little Falls, New Jersey–– Representatives Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) held a press conference today with Little Falls Mayor James Damiano, Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark, NJDEP Commissioner, Shawn LaTourette, and Colonel Matthew W. Luzzatto of the US Army Corps. of Engineers (ACOE) to highlight the recent announcement that the Peckman River Basin Project, which will help address and mitigate flooding in the area, will be funded by the federal government.
“Turn Jackson Street in Little Falls after the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through North Jersey and the Peckman River flooded was completely devastating. The lives and homes of these families are constantly upended and many are are still recovering from Ida today. Unfortunately for NJ-11, the fallout from the major floods was nothing new for us,” said Representative Sherrill. “But today, we are taking a step forward for the quality of life and the well-being of our community. I worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure the finalization of the Chief’s Report for this project and full authorization for Congressional spending, to remove administrative hurdles and begin moving forward. I am grateful for their partnership in this effort. Thanks to this work, when the Ida Disaster supplement was adopted, this project was at the ideal stage to be funded. I want to thank Rep. Pascrell, Mayors Kazmark and Damiano, and NJDEP for their support and efforts that made this possible. It’s not just a climate issue. This is a health, safety and economic issue and today critical Federal resources are arriving in North Jersey to address this historic issue.
“New Jerseyans are no strangers to natural disasters. From Super Hurricane Sandy to Hurricane Ida, we know the tragedy of flooding in our communities and the resulting financial devastation. Today I am extremely proud to announce with MP Sherrill $146 million for flood prevention and $6 million for disaster relief investigations in North Jersey. This is a big problem for our state,” Rep. Pascrell said. “These funds for the Peckman River Flood Prevention Project come directly from President Biden’s infrastructure bill and the additional hurricane disaster our Democratic Congress passed last year. I first involved the Corps in Peckman years ago so that we could implement the best possible flood prevention methods. Today, thanks to President Biden and our Democratic Congress, we finally have the funds to carry out this life-saving project. Let’s do this thing.
“Federal funding for the Peckman River Flood Mitigation Project is remarkable! This is a long-term, permanent solution that will give so many Little Falls residents the relief they deserve,” said James Damiano, Mayor of the Township of Little Falls. “Residents of the Jackson Park section of the city will no longer need to live in fear that their homes, property or lives will be in danger from the Peckman River. Since I was elected five years ago, so many longtime residents of Little Falls have told me that this project will never happen after seeing nearly 25 years of study. Now that project is a reality, and I can’t thank Congresswoman Sherrill and her staff enough for their tireless work with us to make it a reality.
“I think many in our communities weren’t sure that day would ever come. That the funding for this life or death project would actually be allocated to pay for this project. Well the day has come and we thank Rep. Sherrill, Rep. Pascrell, Sens. Menendez and Booker and the Army Corps. of Engineers for their efforts in completing the Peckman River Flood Mitigation Project. Our residents who are affected by the flooding appreciate that something is finally being done,” said Keith Kazmark, mayor of the borough of Woodland Park.
“The District of New York looks forward to continuing its work on the Peckman River Study, which includes leveraging data from previous studies and working with our stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels to complete this project”, said Col. Matthew W. Luzzatto, New York District Commander. “Additional funding will allow us to begin preliminary engineering design and continue coordination with our partners at Little Falls, Woodland Park and NJDEP as we work together to develop and implement tangible flood risk reduction measures for residents of these communities.
“Just months after the remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through New Jersey, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses along the Peckman River, I am proud to announce this federal funding that will help jump-start a project critically aimed at mitigating flood risk and providing long-overdue relief to nearby residents,” said Senator Cory Booker. “This project is the result of close collaboration between federal, state and local authorities, and I am especially grateful for the partnership that has been put in place to make today’s announcement a reality.”
“I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to secure this funding, which will ensure our state has the resources necessary to complete the Peckman River Basin Project and other critical projects in New Jersey. As we experience the effects of climate change with greater storms and flooding, we must invest in mitigation projects to protect our communities and families,” said Senator Bob Menendez.
“To best protect New Jersey communities from worsening extreme weather and flooding, we need a diverse portfolio of strategies that include big infrastructure investments like the Peckman River project, local management more intentional stormwater and regional watershed restoration that creates additional flood storage,” said New Jersey Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette.“Governor Murphy and I are grateful to our partners at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for moving this vital project forward and for the continued advocacy of Representatives Mikie Sherrill and Bill Pascrell who have ensured that Washington DC meets the needs of our communities. DEP will work hard alongside the Corps and Mayors Kazmark and Damiano to expedite the completion of these much-needed projects.”
After personally touring the devastation of Woodland Park and Little Falls in the aftermath of Ida and speaking with those whose lives were turned upside down by that storm, Rep. Sherrill appealed to the Biden administration for full federal funding for the project. of the Peckman River basin. Additionally, at the request of Representative Sherrill, construction of the Peckman River Basin Project was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act 2020. Learn more about the project here.