Water treatment system at Tennessee fish hatchery gets Recovery Act funds

CELINA, TN, April 5, 2010 -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $1.35 million contract for a water treatment system in northern Tennessee under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009...

CELINA, TN, April 5, 2010 -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $1.35 million contract for a water treatment system in northern Tennessee under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

MWH Constructors of Chicago, Ill., will design and build a water treatment system for fish waste at Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery in Celina, Tenn. The new system will keep waste from flowing into the Obey River and stockpile nitrogen-rich material, which will be given to local farmers to fertilize their fields.

"This badly needed treatment system at Dale Hollow will make the hatchery much friendlier to the local environment and area farmers will benefit from the fertilizer it produces," Salazar said. "The construction project will also be an economic boost and provide much needed jobs for the local community."

"The Service has been working closely with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and this ARRA project will bring Dale Hollow into compliance with the Tennessee Clean Water Act," said Cynthia Dohner, the Service's Southeast Regional Director.

The system will be housed in a new building which contains perforated drum filters. Wastewater from the hatchery's 104 raceways, which produce 1.5 million trout a year, will be diverted into the treatment building and the solids will be spun off from the water. The clean water will flow into the Obey River, and the solids will go to two effluent ponds, where they will be dried out and given away to local farmers.

"The treatment system has the potential to really help farmers, whose crops have been significantly affected by droughts over the last few years," said Rep. Bart Gordon, whose Congressional district includes the hatchery.

"I have a list of nine or 10 local farmers who have already signed up, and we haven't even started," said hatchery manager Andrew Currie.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in 2009 gave $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.

The ARRA funds represent an important component of the President's plan to jumpstart the economy and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so the country can thrive in the 21st century. Under ARRA, Interior is making an investment in conserving America's timeless treasures -- our stunning natural landscapes, our monuments to liberty, the icons of our culture and heritage -- while helping American families and their communities prosper again. Interior is also focusing on renewable energy projects, the needs of American Indians, employing youth and promoting community service.

"With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come," Salazar said.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery.

Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force to work closely with Interior's Inspector General to ensure the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility, and transparency set by President Obama.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For questions, comments or concerns email us at recoveryact@fws.gov. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

For more information: http://www.fws.gov/dalehollow/


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