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Mr. ANGELL. What is the chief purpose; navigation?
Colonel FERINGA. Barge, I think, moving chiefly sand and gravel and fuel. The power plant is in this location [indicating], the Commonwealth Edison plant, and this company has both oil and coal barges going up there.
Mr. ÁNGELL. What is the reason for having to keep 30 feet from the docks?
Colonel FERINGA. There are a good many docks there, and we feel that if we dredge closer than 30 feet it would affect the underpinning and piling and the United States would be responsible for damage to the docks; therefore we do not propose to dredge any closer than 30 feet from the docks. Mr. AN:TELL. And local interest can deepen it out to the docks.
Colonel FERINGA. The local owners will have to do that dredging themselves.
Mr. ANGELL. It is for through traffic rather than local.
Colonel FERINGA. This is for through traffic, and if the dock owners want to make use of the channel they will dredge the approach to their docks.
Mr. PETERSON. There would be a great deal of that.
Mr. ANGELL. Is there any interest shown toward cleaning up the pollution?
Colonel FERINGA. I think Chicago has been active in installing a disposal plant. As a matter of fact, as I recall, they were required, as a result of the Supreme Court order in connection with the water diversion from the Great Lakes, to install a disposal plant.
Mr. PETERSON. All of the water comes into this channel from Lake Michigan?
Colonel FERINGA. No; the flow would be from North Branch to Chicago River into Lake Michigan. In the case of the diversion of water from the lake, I think the court allowed 1,500 cubic feet per second.
Mr. ANGELL. What is the average width of the stream?
Colonel FERINGA. The channel varies in width from 200 to 300 feet in the main river.
Mr. ANGELL. Is the water sufficient in purity to support fish life?
Colonel FERINGA. I do not know, but I believe not, because I think that is prohibited by existing law, as I remember the Chicago draining canal matter.
Mr. ANGELL. What is the source of the pollution in the stream, if you know?
Colonel FERINGA. I am sorry, Mr. Angell, I do not know. I could find out, but I do not know.
Mr. PETERSON. Colonel, is there any opposition to this project?
Mr. PETERSON. I notice several people are in the room. Does any, one wish to be heard on this project? Does anyone wish to be heard this afternoon on any of the projects?
This completes, I believe, everything we would like to have hearings on this afternoon.
(Thereupon the committee proceeded to the consideration of business in executive session.)
RIVERS AND HARBORS BILL
THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 1946
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met at 9:30 a. m., Hon. Hugh Peterson of Georgia (chairman) presiding.
NAPA RIVER, CALIF.
(H. Dọc. 397, 79th Cong.) Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. We will be glad to hear Congressman Johnson.
STATEMENT OF HON. J. LEROY JOHNSON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I would like to discuss the matter very briefly as the proposal pertains to the project on the Napa River, Calif. Napa River is a small stream about 50 miles long, east of San Francisco and drains the little valley known as Napa Valley. Incidentally, that is where some of the best wine in the United States is made in the Napa Valley.
The main purpose of the project in the beginning was to take out of the river a very bad bend called Horseshoe Bend, and after study the Army engineers have recommended a slight widening of the channel and a little deepening.
In comparison with other projects it is a rather minor project, involving a total cost of around $800,000.
In addition to serving the Napa Valley it also serves the areas in Lake County.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Colonel Feringa, I was wondering if you could take up this project and go ahead with your discussion after he has finished.
Colonel FERINGA. Yes.
Mr. JOHNSON. And in addition to the agricultural valley the area in here [indicating] would be served. This map shows the location of the city of Napa up at this end, Mr. Chairman; down here is the city of Vallejo, where the Mare Island Navy Yard is located. Further on up the river is San Francisco Bay. By widening and deepening the Napa River vessels would come in here and enter San Francisco Bay, go on out to the ocean, to sea.
The Interior Department told me the Department had no objection to the project; in fact they wrote a report favorable to it, and I think the entire report was satisfactory to them.
Mr. PITTENGER. Is this the first time this project has been before the Rivers and Harbors Committee?
Mr. JOHNSON. I am not sure but what there may have been a previous hearing before this committee, but deals with an enlargement.
Mr. PITTENGER. Then it has been here before?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes; but this involves an enlargement of the existing project. I was informed that there was no opposition to the project on the part of the city of Napa or the county of Napa. I just want to urge the committee to include it in the bill.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. I understand that the existing project has been authorized and acted upon favorably by the Congress.
Mr. Johnson. Yes; in the past. There is considerable traffic up and down the river and since my time it has gradually increased. One rather large industry is the Basalt Co., which moves a great deal of rock and gravel out of this area down to the Bay.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. What is the distance up from San Frarcisco Bay ?
Mr. JOHNSON. I would say it is about 15 miles from deep water, San Francisco Bay.
Mr. PETERSON. Is that in a rather thickly populated area?
Mr. JOHNSON. There are no industries of any substantial size. As I say, the Basalt Co. loads rock and gravel in this area [indicating. And further on up the river there is quite a little cattle raising, and this area in here is a potential industrial area ; and down here [indicating] we have the Mare Island Navy Yard, which is in fact the largest repair yard on the west coast.
Mr. ÄNGELL. There is no opposition to the project.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. The Governor and the State authorities have made a favorable report?:
Mr. Johnson. They have approved it after study.
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. We thank you very much, and if you wish to place in the record any additional data in connection with the project you may do so.
Mr. JOHNSON. I thank you for permitting me to appear at this time, Mr. Chairman, because I have to attend another committee meeting
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. I wish to commend you on your alertness in looking after these matters in the interest of your people.
Mr. JOHNSON. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF COL. P. A. FERINGA, UNITED STATES ARMY
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. Colonel, are you ready to go along now!
Colonel FERINGA. Yes. Mr. Chairman, the report on Napa River, Calif., is in response to a resolution adopted by the committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House, on December 2, 1944. It is also in response to an item in River and Harbor Act approved March 2, 1945.
Napa River, Calif., is 50 miles long. It flows generally south and empties into Mare Island Strait, through which it connects with the various waterways of the San Francisco Bay System. The navigable portion is tidal, and extends from the mouth to the city of Napa, a distance of 15.5 miles, at which point the mean range of tide is about 6.6 feet.
The existing Federal project for improvement of the stream for navigation provides for a channel 8 feet deep from deep water in - Mare Island Strait to Third Street in Napa, 100 feet wide below the mouth of Asylum Slough near mile 12 and 75 feet wide above that point. .
During the past 10 years commerce on the river has averaged 295,940 tons annually, ranging from 107,090 tons in 1935 to 441,260 tons in 1944.
The 1944 commerce consisted of 237,780 tons of sand, gravel, and crushed rock; 148,950 tons of riprap stone; and 54,530 tons of petroleum products.
Vessel traffic on the waterway in 1944 consisted of 1,588 round trips of steamers, motor vessels, tugs, and barges with drafts ranging to 12 feet.
Napa, St. Helena, and Calistoga are the principal cities in Napa Valley. Their 1940 populations were 7,740, 1,760, and 1,120, respectively.
Fruit is the principal agricultural product of the valley. Napa has a number of moderate-sized industries and is a distributing point for petroleum products and other commodities. The largest single producer of river freight is the Basalt Rock Co. which ships large quantities of construction stone. A shipyard at the head of Horseshoe Bend builds salvage vessels and other craft for the Navy.
Local businessmen and shippers using the waterway desire further improvement of Napa River to provide a channel 15 feet deep and 100 feet wide from the mouth to Asylum Slough and thence 10 feet deep and 75 feet wide to the head of the existing project; construction of a cut-off at Horseshoe Bend; easing of Carr Bend, Jacks Bend, and a bend at Spreckels Point near mile 14; provision of a turning basin near the head of the improvement and better alignment of the approach channel to the railroad bridge at Brazos near mile 8.
They contend that these improvements will result in substantial savings in the cost of transportation by permitting the use of larger vessels, and eliminating delays and hazards to navigation.
The waterway has demonstrated its usefulness by carrying a substantial and growing commerce in spite of navigation difficulties. Prospective general benefits justify the Federal expenditures required for the proposed additional work.
Accordingly the Board recommends modification of the existing navigation project for Napa River, Calif., to provide for a channel 15 feet deep and 100 feet wide between the mouth at Mare Island Strait and Asylum Slough and 10 feet deep and 75 feet wide thence to Third Street in Napa with a cut-off at Horseshoe Bend, a turning basin 300 feet wide at Jacks Bend and additional widenings, realignments, and related works in other difficult sections.
The Chief of Engineers concurs in the views and recommendations of the Board.
The improvement is recommended subject to the condition that local interest
agree to (a) furnish free of cost to the United States all neces