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RIVERS AND HARBORS BILL
THURSDAY, MAY 9, 1946
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. (Following hearings on the Arkansas River project which are printed separately the committee proceeded as follows:)
SANTEE-CONGAREE RIVERS, N. C. AND S. C. Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. If there are no further witnesses on the Arkansas River project, I will call Congressman Riley, of South Carolina, who is interested in the project in South Carolina designated, I believe, as the Santee-Cooper project and the Congaree River. That project has not been designated in the list that was set for these hearings. Of course, I did not know that there was any particular desire for it to be heard until the Congressman called it to my attention yesterday.
In fairness, since we have discussed this matter, Mr. Riley, I have received telegrams, I have three telegrams here, from parties who indicated that they would like to be heard in opposition to this project. I might say that Congressman Richards, of South Carolina, has also discussed the matter with me and states that he likewise would like to have an opportunity to be heard in connection with this project, and possibly he has constituents who would like to be heard.
It has been the policy of this committee when projects are brought up to give all the parties an opportunity to be heard. Since this project has not been set at this time for all parties to be here, I think that in fairness the chairman should make that statement.
We will be very happy to hear you and have Colonel Feringa present the project, and to hear the others who might wish to be heard this afternoon. But I must say that it heardly would be fair for the committee to take any definite action at this time until everyone has had an opportunity to be heard on the project.
Mr. RANKIN. Is the project recommended by the Army engineers?
STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN J. RILEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Mr. RILEY. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I first want to thank you for allowing us to make this presentation. It is very kind of you to let us come in at this late date.
We would like to get this into the record, and you may note the fact that there is some opposition in connection with it. I think that you have very fairly stated the proposition, but we would like to get into the record, if you gentlemen would let us, this project.
There was quite a large delegation from Columbia, S. C., here yesterday and the day before. Most of them had to leave, but Mr. John Linton, who is the chairman of the transportation committee of the Chamber of Commerce of Columbia, will make the presentation.
The survey has been made by the United States engineers, and Colonel Feringa is familiar with the project. Colonel Feringa, will you outline the project and then Mr. Linton will say a few words?
Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, in order to make it clear to the committee why this project had not heretofore been placed among the list of projects to be considered
Mr. PETERSON of Georgia. I might say here, before we close this Arkansas project, I have been very happy to see one of our former colleagues, and one of Arkansas' leading citizens, former Congressman Terry, who is here with us participating in these hearings, and I know his people appreciate his cooperation.
Colonel FERINGA. Mr. Chairman, when Judge Mansfield asked me to prepare a list of projects, and as a matter of fact he wrote me a letter to that effect, I did not add the project of the Santee River system, known as the Santee-Cooper and Congaree River, because when the last river and harbor bill was presented some 2 years ago, I had the pleasure of describing this project before the Senate Committee on Commerce.
When I went overseas I thought that this project was in the last river and harbor bill. It had been considered by the Senate committee, but it was taken out, just how or why I do not know, I think on the House side, after conference.
The project has heretofore been recommended favorably by the Corps of Engineers and is contained in Senate Document No. 189, Seventh-eighth Congress, second session.
The report on the comprehensive development of the Santee River system, North Carolina and South Carolina, in response to a resolution by the Committee on Commerce adopted October 24, 1938, was submitted to Congress April 13, 1944, and published as Senate Document No. 189, Seventy-eighth Congress, second session.
The Santee Řiver system drains an area of 15,700 square miles extending southeasterly from the western part of North Carolina through central South Carolina to the coast line between Charleston and Georgetown, S. C. The main stem of the system consists of the Broad River which has its source on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Hickory Nut Gap, N. C., and flows southeasterly 166 miles to Columbia, S. C.; the Congaree River which is formed at Columbia, S. C., by the confluence of the Broad and Saluda River's and flows southeasterly 51 miles to Wateree, S. C.; and the Santee River which is formed by the confluence of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers and flows southeasterly 143 miles through the Coastal Plain to the Atlantic Ocean 45 miles northeast of Charleston, S. C.
Near the mouth the Santee River divides into two channels The north channel is used for navigation and is connected with Winyah
y by the Estherville-Minim Creek Canal, a section of the Intra
coastal Waterway. A dam located 87 miles above the mouth of the Santee River forms Santee Reservoir from which water is diverted to the adjacent Pinopolis Reservoir in the Cooper River Basin for the development of power in the Santee-Cooper hydroelectric project constructed by the South Carolina Public Service Authority. The reservoirs, canals, and a lock in the Pinopolis Dam in the Cooper River Basin, all of which are a part of the project, and Cooper River with its West Branch provide a navigable depth of 10 feet or more between Charleston and the head of the Santee Reservoir, which is about 57 miles downstream from Columbia, S. C. The absence of a lock in the Santee Dam precludes through navigation on the Santee River.
Santee River: Provides for snagging the entire river. Present condition: In June 1941 the river was closed to navigation at Wilson Landing, mile 87, by the construction of the Santee Dam. The controlling depth in the 12-mile reach above the Intracoastal Waterway crossing at mile 7 is about 9 feet; thence, 4 feet to Lenuds Ferry, 31 miles above the crossing. The head of the tidal reach is at mile 48, about 10 miles upstream from Lenuds Ferry. The controlling depth from Lenuds Ferry to Santee Dam, about 49 miles, has been reduced to about 2 feet by the diversion of the waters to the Pinopolis Reservoir and Cooper River.
Congaree River: This provides for a 4-foot channel over the lower 49 miles of the river to be secured by dredging and bank protection and for the construction of a lock and dam to extend a channel 2 miles further to Gervais Street Bridge, Columbia, S. C. Present condition: The dredging and bank protection is about 71 percent completed. The Gervais Street lock 170 by 55 by 10 feet was placed out of commission in August 1920: Controlling depth from the mouth to the lock and dam at Columbia is about 5.5 feet except during the lowwater stage resulting from the week-end shut-down of upstream power plants when the controlling depth is 1.5 feet.
Santee River: In 1937 the traffic amounted to 82 tons, a high of 18,182 tons was reached in 1941, and in 1943 the traffic amounted to 5,837, consisting essentially of pulpwood.
Congaree River: İn 1936 the traffic amounted to 1,725 tons, in 1937 it amounted to 82 tons, and in 1939 it reached 44,500 tons. No commerce was reported for 1940–43.
Cooper River above Charleston : Traffic varied from 250 tons in 1936 to 23,793 tons in 1943, reaching a high of 61,890 in 1942, consisting essentially of timber products.
The Santee Basin has a population of about 1,378,000. The largest cities in the area are Charlotte, N. C., with a population of 100,900; Columbia, S. C., with 62,400; Greenville, S. C., with 34,700; Spartanburg, S. C., with 32.200; Gastonia, N. C., with 21,300; and Rock Hill, S.C., with 15,000. The Coastal Plain area extending inland to Columbia is sparsely settled and devoted principally to the production of timber and naval stores, while the Piedmont Plateau and mountain region of the upper basin is an agricultural and industrial area. Cotton and tobacco are the principal commercial crops and corn, hay, potatoes, and grain are produced in large quantities. The manufacture of textiles is the most important industry of the area. Other industries include the manufacture of lumber, cottonseed oil, furniture, and granite products. Extensive water-power development has contributed largely to the industrial development of this region.
Local interests request that the Santee and Congaree Rivers be improved above the Santee Reservoir to provide navigable channel at Jeast 7 feet deep, and that a depth of 12 feet be provided if possible between Charleston and Columbia. Interested parties estimate that between 750,000 and 1,000,000 tons of petroleum products would move to Columbia annually by water as the result of the improvement and that the waterway would also be used for movement of sand, gravel and pulpwood.
Local interests also desire further development of hydroelectric plant facilities in this region.
After full consideration, including coordination with the Federal Power Commission, the Chief of Engineers in Document No. 189 recommended as the first step improvement of the Santee, Congaree, and Broad Rivers for navigation, the development, transmission, and sale of hydroelectric power, and for other beneficial uses by the construction of Blairs, Frost Shoals, and Columbia hydroelectric power developments, and a channel 8 feet deep and 150 feet wide in the Santee and Congaree Rivers between Columbia and the Santee Reservoir, generally in accordance with the plans of the division engineer, with such modifications thereof as in the discretion of the Secretary of War and the Chief of Engineers may be advisable at an estimated cost of $51,511,000 for construction and $317,000 annually for operation and maintenance.
The improvement was recommended subject to the following items of local cooperation : provided that no construction shall be undertaken on the navigation channel until local interests furnish, without cost to the United States, all lands, easements and other rights required for the channel; agree to provide adequate public terminals and transfer facilities open to all on equal and reasonable terms; and to make changes in highways, bridges, and other structures and utilities required in connection with the navigation channel.
Cost to the United States for new work: Blairs (81,000 kilowatts).
$21, 176, 000 Frost shoals (74,00 kilowatts).
16, 641, 000 Columbia reregulating dam (30,000 kilowatts)
11, 034, 000 Channel improvements.
Total United States construction cost_ Transmission facilities -
49, 661, 000 1, 850, 000
Total United States first cost..
51, 511, 000 Annual costs including interest, amortization and operation and maintenance are estimated at $2,560,000. Estimated annual benefits comprise $2,911,000 for value of power at the site, $72,000 for added power value at the Santee-Cooper plant, and $228,000 navigation benefits, for a total annual benefit of $3,211,000. This is a ratio of benefits to costs of 1.25 to 1.0.
I may point out that the described first step improvement would permit the production of about 388,000,000 kilowatt-hours of primary and 305,000,000 of secondary energy annually. The indicated producsion cost is 3.37 mills per kilowatt-hour.
The annual navigation saving of $228,000 would apply to 355,000 tons, chiefly petroleum products, lumber products, and sand and gravel.
Estimated non-Federal first cost for the navigation improvement including lands, bridge alterations, etc. is $400,000, and the annual non-Federal cost is placed at $33,000.
Mr. CHAIRMAN. Since the recommended first step improvement would provide a ratio of benefits to costs of 1.25 to 1.0, including a most desirable 8-foot improvement to Columbia, S. C., together with additional low cost hydroelectric power for this region, it is recommended that favorable consideration be given to an authorization item reading along the following lines:
Santee, Congaree, and Broad Rivers, S. C.; construction of the Blairs, Frost Shoals and Columbia developments, and the navigation channel, as recommended by the Chief of Engineers in Senate Document No. 189, Seventy-eighth Congress.
What is proposed, in brief, Mr. Chairman, as will be seen by the map which faces page 62, of the report is the construction of a system of reservoirs which will make possible navigation between Columbia, S. C., which is a thriving town, and Charleston, S. C. Charleston is now on deep water.
The inland waterway goes through the bay, south of Charleston, and therefore Columbia would have the benefits of this same inland water navigation which you have heard of before, and which has increased from 9,000,000,000 ton-miles in 1927 to over 31,000,000,000 ton-miles in 1944.
Mr. RANKIN. What river is this on?
Colonel FERINGA. Santee, Congaree, and Cooper Rivers. The waterway would start at Columbia. The waterway is known as the Congaree. The Congaree then joins the Santee River and the waterway is deflected by the existing Pinopolis Reservoir and the existing Santee Reservoir, and then joins with the Santee River to Charleston.
What is recommended in the original over-all plan is the construction of reservoirs known as Clinchfield, Greater Gaston Shoal site, Greater Lockhart site, and the Buckingham Landing site. But as an initial step there was proposed, and this is the only part that the Chief recommended at that time as the initial step, and still is the only step that he recommends, the reservoir at the Blair site, a reservoir at Frost Shoals site, and the Columbia reregulating dạm plus channel improvement on the lower river to make 8-foot navigation plus 1 foot overdepth or 9-foot navigation available to Charleston, from Columbia.
Mr. RANKIN. Is there any power developed ?
Colonel FERINGA. There is a tremendous amount of power developed.
The first step that I am talking about now, and that is the only step that we recommend, would permit the production of about 388,000,000 kilowatt-hours of primary and 305,000,000 secondary energy annually. The indicated production cost is 3.37 mills per kilowatt-hour.
Mr. RANKIN. Is that the cost ?