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ument No. 1, Seventy-fifth Congress, first session, Flood Control Committee, House of Representatives.
This plan was transmitted to the Congress by the President on April 28, 1937, and the President's letter calls attention to the fact that the plan is limited to, flood-control works, such as levees and reservoirs, all of these works being in-tended to keep out or hold back waters after they have reached the main stem of the Mississippi or one of the principal tributaries thereof.
On page 4 of this report the number of reservoirs to be built in the drainage basin of the Beaver River is shown as two, at a total cost of $7,700,000. Attached to the report is a map showing the location of the reservoirs to be constructed in the Ohio River Basin. The two reservoirs shown on the map are No. 11, referred to as Shenango, and No. 12 as Mahoning. These two reservoirs have been built on the locations and in the shape indicated on the map, but their names have been changed to Pymatuming and Berlin. As a matter of fact, there are two reservoirs on the site of the Mahoning project, one being Milton and the other Berlin. The map does not indicate any proposed reservoir on the site of Mosquito or Eagle Creeks. The report of the Flood Control Committee of the House contains a tabulation of reservoirs without any explanation or designation whatever. In this tabulation will be found Eagle Creek, Mosquito Creek, Berlin, and Shenango. No mention is made of Pymatuming or Milton. The act of 1938 makes no mention of the committee report.
When the civil functions appropriation bill was before the Senate committee in March of this year, carrying an appropriation of $90,000 for planning in connection with Eagle Creek, the Army engineers made a formal statement to the Senate Appropriation Subcommittee declaring that the engineers would use the $90,000 appropriation to make plans in connection with Eagle Creek and that public hearings would be held at which all persons would be given an opportunity to be heard, and that the engineers would then make a report concerning the advisability of constructing the reservoir. Are the engineers going to keep faith on this hearing ?
As I understand the position of the engineers before the committee at the present time, it is now contended that they have a right to include Eagle Creek in the comprehensive flood-control plan based upon the language above mentioned concerning modification. However, this does not seem to be a very sound assumption because the term “modification” cannot be construed to give the engineers power to enlarge the comprehensive flood-control plan and build new reservoirs which would make the plan larger both in number of reservoirs and in expenditure of money. I also wish to again call your attention to the language of the President's letter of transmittal, which would exclude consideration of the so-called flow-control reservoirs, except as an incidental purpose.
In my opinion, Mosquito Creek was built without proper authority and the disbursement of funds might have been stopped by injunction. However, this job was completed during wartime, as a war project and no one sought to halt the work. This statement is supported by letter from the President to the Senate of June 23, 1943.
I do not wish to argue the physical merits of the Eagle Creek project at this time. As I see the proposition, it is a question of whether or
talk maken at the theme
not the project has been authorized and does not go to the advisability of building the reservoir. I think this presentation before the Flood Control Committee should be confined to an explanation of the lack of authority. If the committee then wishes to set a date for hearing on the merits of the reservoir, that is a different matter. However, I think that the engineers should hold a hearing in the first instance and make a report to Congress, so that we will have something to talk about.
I now come to the discussion of some language in the Flood Control Act of 1938 which relates to discretionary authority to be exercised by the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers to modify the flood-control plan. I understand that the engineers claim that this language means that they can enlarge the plan at will and build any reservoirs they wish. I want to say now, that, in my opinion, Congress has no power to delegate such authority to the engineers. In the next place the discretionary power as stated in the flood-control plan is clearly explained in the report of the Chief of Engineers.
On page 5 of the report, paragraph 16, the Chief of Engineers asked for authority to use his discretion in moving certain communities to other locations in lieu of constructing flood-control dams.
On page 9, paragraph 29, he asked for authority to permit the Secretory of War to enlarge certain dams which had already been provided for and to deal with the distribution of hydroelectric power. But the exercise of this discretion was to be subject to the primary object of flood control.
On page 10, paragraph 32, discretionary authority is asked, in order that the Secretary of War might accept such rights-of-way as might be given or purchased. The words "modify or modification” as used in the act of 1938 must be held to mean the discretionary power asked for in the Chief of Engineers' report, and nothing more. I have discussed this matter with a lawyer who has had unusual experiences in legislative matters and he tells me that any other legal construction of the word "modification" as contained in the Flood Control Act of 1938, would be almost impossible.
We must, therefore, conclude that the Army engineers have no power to enlarge the flood-control plan and that the Eagle Creek Reservoir was not included in the plan on April 6, 1937.
No hearings have been held up to this time on the advisability of constructing a dam at Eagle Creek and until such hearings are held we can do nothing but wait for the engineers to progress the matter in the usual way.
(Youngstown Vindicator, Sunday, February 10, 1946)
THE EAGLE CREEK MILESTONE Everyone in the Mahoning Valley has reason to be pleased as the House Appropriations Committee, of which Representative Kirwan, of Youngstown, is a member, provides $90,000 to make plans for the Eagle Creek Reservoir. The new lake would save the valley's cities $550,000 a year in sewage expenses alone, besides its aid to the industries which support the cities, and its value in flood control and recreation.
Eight years ago Mr. Kirwan was a member of the House Flood Control Committee which approved construction of the Berlin, Mosquito Creek, and Eagle Creek Reservoirs. The first two have been completed. Long service has made Mr. Kirwan one of the most powerful figures in Congress, and the Mahoning Valley will have an influential spokesman when this important new project is reported for consideration.
The Eagle Creek Dam is needed because the existing reservoirs (Milton, Berlin, and Mosquito Creek) cannot provide flood control and low-flow control at the same time. They have to be nearly empty to catch spring floods, nearly full to provide water in summer. During the war production came first, and the Government took a chance on floods. The three reservoirs were used primarily for low-flow control, to keep the steel mills running.
Normally, however, these reservoirs must be no more than one-third full in spring, so that they can catch floods. But if the floods should not come, then they would not have enough water in summer to keep the river at the level needed for industry. If Eagle Creek is added, however, the river can be kept at about the same flow as during the war, and at the same time there will be adequate flood control.
The amount of water needed by industry is greater than most people realize. Last year, for example, Youngstown Sheet & Tube pumped 95,303,710,000 gallons for its plants. The Youngstown city system, serving 180,000 people, pumped only 5,493,000,000 gallons. Using the same ratio of water to population, Sheet & Tube's pumpage was enough to serve 3,123,000 people-nearly as many as in Chicago.
The city governments are directly affected by the river's level, because all of them soon will have to install sewage-disposal plants. If the wartime flow of the river can be kept up, they can get by with 50-percent treatment of sewage instead of the 98-percent treatment that would be required if the river fell to a trickle in summer, as it used to before the war. This makes the great difference in sewage expense, estimated by the United States Public Health Service at $550,000 a year—at 1934 prices.
The sewage survey now being made by Youngstown, with $25,000 provided by the Federal Government, will help establish these facts, so that the Army engineers' survey of the Eagle Creek project can justify the ultimate cost of more than $3,000,000. Another study now under way, by the Ohio Water Resources Board, will add to the project's value by showing its recreation possibilities. Since 1944 the Army engineers have been authorized by Congress to include recreation as one of the assets of such projects. It is an important item ; in the Muskingum Valley lakes a value of $2.50 an acre per year is assigned to fishing alone.
In summary, the valley needs flood protection and also a good flow of water in summer to keep its industries efficient and attract new ones; the cities need a high minimum flow to cut the expense of sewage treatment; the Eagle Creek Reservoir would complete these purposes, so far only partly attained by the. Milton, Berlin, and Mosquito Creek Dams. The approval of funds to make the actual plans and specifications for Eagle Creek is therefore a milestone in the valley's progress toward security and expansion.
I raised a question before and I raise it again, that in the first place it was not authorized by Congress; secondly, that the purpose of it is not for flood control but for low flow control for the special interests and industry; thirdly, that it will wash into the Pennsylvania area contaminated waters because of these low-flow facilities.
It will wash into Pennsylvania sewage which should be taken care of at its source.
The CHAIRMAN. How far is Youngstown from Pittsburgh?
Mr. CAMPBELL. Possibly 14 miles from Pennsylvania, but they do not have sewage disposal, so they wash all that muck and sewage material into Pennsylvania and we have to take care of it. The purification is not taken care of at its source.
I wish that I had time to give this more attention, because it does provoke thought.
Thé CHAIRMAN. We will now hear from one of the best friends that flood control has in the country.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH F. GUFFEY, A SENATOR IN CONGRESS
FROM THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA Senator GUFFEY. I have favored and voted for every flood-control act in the past 12 years that I have been in Congress. I had literature printed and distributed among the farmers on how to preserve small waters. I had 100,000 copies printed and paid for them myself and distributed them to the farmers in Pennsylvania so that they could build local dams to stop waters. I am for that now. I will still vote for every flood-control dam that comes up for the country.
I am opposed to this dam because it is an adjunct to the canal that the Youngstown Sheet & Tube people in Youngstown are trying to get built to get the freight rates lowered.
At one time General Markam, when he was Chief of Engineers, stated that if the railroads would lower their freight rates 6 or 7 cents per hundred they would not recommend a dam. That is how close it was; but now we are proposing here that the Government spend $300,000,000 for the benefit of an industrial establishment at Youngstown, Ohio, including the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. It is a waste of the people's money to put that canal in for the small benefit that the country is going to get and the people are going to get out of it. I do not think it will help flood control. I never have heard of any serious trouble up the valley.
Youngstown had high water once, but I do not think it damaged anything. I looked into it once, and I cannot find out that it did any damage.
That is my position. When the Ỹoungstown Sheet & Tube Co. developed the plant at Youngstown there was a very favorable labor market there as compared to Pittsburgh; there was cheaper labor, and that is why they located there. Now they want the Government to pay the difference in wages by getting lower cost transportation.
The CHAIRMAN. You understand that the canalization and navigation part is not before the committee, but the Committee on Rivers and Harbors.
Senator GUFFEY. I am giving you the background for this dam. That is all that I have to say. Mr. Fulton will give you more details this afternoon.
The CHAIRMAN. We will now hear from Representative Fulton. Mr. FULTON. I wish to add to the Senator's statement that this particular area on flood-control protection has a 52-percent rate, which is the highest of any area, not only in this particular district but also in the whole country.
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES GROVE FULTON, A REPRESENTATIVE
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA
Mr. Fulton. I am James G. Fulton, from the Thirty-first District of Pennsylvania.
The CHAIRMAN. I recall your former statement. We would be glad to have you give us a supplemental statement.
Mr. FULTON. My purpose in appearing before the committee is in regard to the evaluation of this power dam and improvements in regard to flood control primarily. The other advantages of the Eagle Creek project were purely incidental.
I believe that you will find that flood-control is adequate in the area involved, which is the Mahanoy Valley-Beaver River area, and really now it has 50 percent flood control, which is the highest rate of floodcontrol not only in the. Ohio Basin but also in the country. These flood-control items are not one community striving against another, as has been claimed in some instances, but are really one community striving to see that the whole basin or area is developed about the same percentage. There has been a question come up here of floods in this particular valley. There was no flood of any size in 1936 or 1937 as there was in Pennsylvania in this area, but the last real flood there was in 1913, and in the report of the district engineers to the division engineers on February 24, 1937, on page 170 of House Document 178 of the Seventy-sixth Congress, first session, entitled “Lake Erie-Ohio,” paragraph 402, appearing in this report is the following:
In March 1913 the Mahanoy River Valley experienced a particularly severe
We are not trying to protect flood areas in this country against floods which will occur only once in 800 to 1,000 years. In addition to that, the question has come up as to the authorization, it having been claimed by Representatives from Ohio that this was specifically authorized in the comprehensive plan for flood control of the Ohio River Basin from 1938.
I have a memorandum prepared showing that the total authorized capacity was about 116,000 acre-feet, and the total cost of the Beaver River Basin was $7,700,000; and it has long since gone clear above this authorization, so that I do not believe the committee nor the engineers, through merely stating this is a modification of a plan, can include this under that authorization. In fact, if you will look at page 4 of Committee Document No. 1, Fifth Congress Comprehensive Control Plan, you will find a complete table of the reservoirs contained there. You will find in the basin of the Beaver River only two reservoirs provided for. These reservoirs are shown on the map, at an estimated cost of these reservoirs of $7,800,000. There is clearly no provision for a greater number of reservoirs and there is nothing stated whatever on Eagle Creek.
Now, however, if you will look to see the real reason why Eagle Creek is proposed, that is to provide water for other purposes than flood control, you will find that this was first put out in the year 1920, when there was a survey made by an engineer from New York, Alexander Porter, consulting engineer, 50 Church Street, New York City, on the resources of the Mahanoy River, including stream control for sanitary purposes and for water supply: That survey was made by Mr. Porter in 1920 for the development of this particular area, and that is not in the engineers' general comprehensive plan that they made up of flood control in 1938. Now, I have made a résumé of the report in addition to that engineering memorandum of Mr. Porter to the city of Warren, Ohio, together with this map which I will submit, too, and will not testify on.
May I say this to the chairman of the committee, that Eagle Creek, it clearly shows that this is a case of trying to have sewage benefits and