Fish hatchery receives recovery funds to upgrade water pumping systems

WASHINGTON, DC, April 6, 2010 -- The Department of the Interior has awarded a $1.25 million contract under the Recovery Act to finance two rehabilitation projects at Idaho's Kooskia National Fish Hatchery...

Apr 6th, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC, April 6, 2010 -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the Department of the Interior has awarded a $1.25 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to finance two rehabilitation projects at Idaho's Kooskia National Fish Hatchery.

The ARRA funding will provide $662,000 to LanPacific Inc. to correct sediment problems caused by a water intake and diversion structure designed prior to Clean Water Act and National Pollution Discharge Elimination System regulations. The ARRA contract will provide an additional $590,000 to Burton Construction to rehabilitate the egg incubation system and upgrade pumps at Well No. 1 and Well No. 5.

"Because we are switching from an outdated 180-ton chiller to a modern 20-ton chiller, the improvement in the egg incubation system alone should cut our electricity usage from $12,000 a month to around $4,000 to $6,000," Kooskia NFH Manager Adam Izbicki said. "We are also replacing 25-year-old 25- horsepower pumps with more efficient 10- horsepower pumps to help us save on both electricity and water usage."

Burton Construction, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned business in Spokane, Washington, will use its employees and specialized contractors to complete the incubation and pump upgrades. Burton Project Manager Chuck Omlid noted the stimulus funding has made a significant impact on his company.

"The big thing for us is the additional work that has allowed us to bring back employees who have been laid off and get them back to work," Omlid said. "We recently brought an employee back to work and hired a new employee. We have loyal employees and the stimulus projects mean a lot to us."

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

"The funds used to complete this project represent a continuing commitment by the Department of the Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain the excellent work done by the fisheries program in the northwest," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. "In addition to reducing energy waste, water use and pollution, this project helps create work for contractors in the northwest region."

The ARRA funds are part of a stimulus package that is 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 the 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.

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