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I think the arguments for and against Table Rock fall into three general categories. These are power production, flood-control benefits, and recreational values.
Suppose we take these up one at a time.
1. The Corps of Engineers seem to be of the opinion that Table Rock Reservoir as well as all hydroelectric dams will furnish a great amount of cheap electric power. This is a belief that is not shared by many engineering experts. I believe the accepted facts are that hydroelectric power is generally from 3 to 5 times as expensive as steam-generated power. A steam plant which would produce approximately the same amount of electricity as the hydroelectric plant proposed at Table Rock could be built for a fraction of the money involved in constructing this dam. My understanding is that the cost of building Table Rock is now estimated at $78,610,000. This figure is very likely too low according to past history of the Engineer Corps operations.
Many proponents of the dam are using as their main argument the statement that the farmers in Missouri will receive this power in an area where there is a power shortage and that it will be cheap power.
I think that former Secretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman spilled the beans when he testified before a subcommittee of Congress on May 23, 1952. He said then, and I quote: "The Table Rock project is one on which the circumstances have changed since we submitted our budget. That change is this: I have entered into a contract with the Arkansas Power & Light Co., related to the Reynolds Metal Co., and its proposed production of aluminum in Arkansas. Having entered into that contract, I have discussed this quite carefully with the representatives in Arkansas and they realize, as we all do, that this Table Rock project should be built in order to maintain a proper level of production of firm kilowatts for that area so that the power supply can eventually be firmed up further for the other users in that area."
Many of us believe that the primary purpose of Table Rock is to furnish power to the Reynolds Metal Co. which is largely financed by our Government. The primary purpose is not for the benefit of Missouri farmers at all, though most of the area to be inundated is in Missouri. It is also doubtful if there is any shortage in the affected area and private power companies stand ready to increase output of power when it is needed. If the power from Table Rock is cheap power it is because everybody in America is helping pay for it with taxes.
The power at several Ozark dam sites the past 2 years has been practically nothing and at those dams where power production has been maintained, it has been at the expense of fish and wildlife and recreation.
Flood control at Table Rock is negligible. Why try to control a flood after it has already happened? Does it not sound more logical to hold the water where it falls and prevent floods on the watersheds of the tributaries? We feel that the logical approach to flood prevention is one of better land use and watershed treatment.
If farmers are given technical assistance, they can themselves do much to prevent floods. Much can be accomplished by increasing soil fertility alone, by adding organic matter to the soil which will enable the soil to act as a sponge and hold more water and let it down to the underground water table-to be released later in the form of springs. Reforestation and better timber management will act in the same way. Contour farming, strip cropping, terracing and farm pond construction will also act to slow down water runoff and store it on the farmer's land where he needs it. These practices will not only aid in flood control but will also stop the erosion of our valuable top soil and aid in the production of food to feed our growing population and the rest of the world.
No doubt some reservoirs will be needed to store floodwaters, but can't these be small lakes in comparatively waste areas on small tributaries that have little or no value for agricultural production? The White River bottom land is the most valuable land in the counties where it is proposed to build Table Rock. Why destroy this land to save land downstream?
The watershed management approach such as the one presently being administered by the soil conservation districts in their 48 pilot watersheds, is the type we would like to see more of. This Congress is to be commended for their action in setting up these plants and, believe me, the people of Missouri are interested in them and like them. If the Federal Government is willing to spend money on flood control, we would strongly advocate spending it on more projects like these.
The Muskingum watershed in northern Ohio is one of the finest examples of flood control by watershed treatment that I know of. They have actually accomplished flood prevention here and they have done it by watershed treatment.
Instead of building one large dam, they built 10 small permanent pools with flood storage and 4 dry reservoirs. A reservoir that is kept full the year round for power production has little or no value for flood control. The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District is a boon to the whole State of Ohio.
Recreation, I believe, cannot be a very strong argument of the proponents of Table Rock. It is true that probably every State in the Nation needs more outdoor recreation, but why put more impounded water in an area that already has Bull Shoals, Norfolk, and Taneycomo, as well as many beautiful Ozark clearwater streams? North Missouri is hurting for clear water for all types of recreation and flood control is also needed here. There are many places in north Missouri where small lakes could be built and watersheds developed that would give great recreational value as well as aid in flood control. Let's spread this recreation water out where it will be close to people of moderate means and can be enjoyed by a great many people.
I might also point out that the survey of the Fish and Wildlife Service shows an estimated annual loss to fish and wildlife of $40,000 in the Table Rock area if this dam is built. The water in Lake Taneycomo will be too cold to swim in. Missourians aren't too pleased about this.
In summing up, may I remind you that the first appropriation for Table Rock was passed when most of Congress was away. According to the Associated Press, 13 of 96 Senators and 67 of 435 Congressmen were present. Many were at the Republican National Convention in Chicago.
The people of this country supported the present administration because they were promised economy in Government. Spending $78,610,000 for a project such as Table Rock is certainly not economy. I hope that by your present actions you will rectify the errors of the past.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. CALLISON. That is all. Thank you. I appreciate your patience after the long session of this morning in hearing me.
Senator ELLENDER. Thank you, Mr. Callison.
The committee will stand in récess until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
(Whereupon, at 1:25 p. m., Tuesday, March 2, 1954, a recess was taken until 10 a. m., Wednesday, March 3, 1954.)
CIVIL FUNCTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 1954
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., pursuant to recess, in room F-39, the Capitol, Hon. Allen J. Ellender presiding.
Present: Senators Ellender, Cordon, Young, Thye, Dworshak, Dirksen, Hayden, McClellan, and Holland.
EAGLE GORGE, WASH.
STATEMENTS OF THOMAS M. PELLY AND THOR C. TOLLEFSON,
REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
ANNOUNCEMENT BY ACTING CHAIRMAN
Senator ELLENDER. The committee will be in order.
I regret to announce that yesterday while I was presiding Col. Roy D. Burdick, who was a witness, became ill. He was immediately sent to the hospital and died last night. He was stricken with a brain hemorrhage. He was reading from a transcript that he had prepared and he was just about halfway through when he became ill and was unable to proceed.
The first project this morning will be Eagle Gorge Dam. The first witnesses are Congressman Pelly and Congressman Tollefson.
Senator ELLENDER. Have you a prepared statement ?
Representative TOLLEFSON. We have a prepared statement. If the chairman desires, we will submit it for the record.
Senator ELLENDER. It is not necessary.
Representative TOLLEFSON. We are both pleased to have the opportunity of appearing before the committee to testify in behalf of appropriations for Eagle Gorge Flood Control Dam, which is located in my congressional district but which also has an impact and effect upon Congressman Pelly's district, which adjoins mine to the north. We are both vitally interested in the project. We have been before the committee before in connection with this same project, but if the committee will bear with me, I would like to review briefly the facts so that your recollection may be refreshed.
Eagle Gorge Dam has been authorized by Congress but to date no construction money has been appropriated by. Congress. Planning money, however, has been allocated to the project and in this year's budget there is an item of $170,000 for further planning. It is my understanding that in the next fiscal year the planning can be completed and construction work can be done. While I may be in error, it is my understanding that the Army engineers could use as much as $212 million in construction funds. The engineers are here, of course, and can make their expression if they wish.
Senator ELLENDER. We might find out now. As I understand it, the cost-benefit ratio is 1.27 to 1.
Colonel STARBIRD. That is correct.
Senator ELLENDER. The local contribution is around $2 million.
Senator ELLENDER. How much could you spend this fiscal year with the planning that has already been accomplished ?
Colonel STARBIRD. Earlier that question was asked, sir, and in the record the answer was given as an estimate of $1,250,000. However, I would like to recheck that and add a correction to the record should we be able to use any additional funds.
Senator ELLENDER. Very well.
Representative TOLLEFSON. The project in 1952 was designated under the crtieria then set up as necessary to the defense effort. The reason for that certification was that in the flood area in the valley are located three important defense units, the most important being Boeing plant No. 2, the next being the Auburn Army Depot, and the third being Anti-Aircraft Unit No. 28 which is situated somewhere between Boeing and the Army depot at Auburn.
I might mention on two occasions now I am informed that the antiaircraft unit had to be removed temporarily during the period of a flood. They had to take it away because the flood covered the location and the spot of the anti-aircraft unit.
The floods have been of a recurring nature. The last major flood occurred back in 1946 when more than a million dollars of damage was done. But there have been additional floods since then; however, not of such great magnitude. But the threat of the flood is always there. As a consequence, the land through which the river flows cannot be utilized in the same manner in which it would be utilized were the area safe from floods. The committee is already aware of the fact there is local contribution.
The State of Washington has appropriated a million and a half dollars. The county commissioners in King County, in which the project would be located, have appropriated $500,000. So there is now