projects elsewhere on the Tri-Rivers system. Limited funding has forced the Corps of
Engineers to defer dredge projects creating further navigation problems for users of the Tri-
Because of the dredging problems on the Tri-Rivers system, commercial
traffic has been significantly hindered and many opponunities have been missed. I
strongly believe funding must be allocated for mitigating this problem.
Another concern that has been brought to my anention is the exorbitant demand that
is currently being placed on the ground water aquifers and the surface-water supplies in
southeast Alabama. Recently, the Choctawhatchee-Pea Rivers Watershed Management
Authority, which represents ten counties in my district, cosponsored a study with the
Geological Survey of Alabama that identified this problem. Now, a year into this study,
several issues have been identified as requiring immediate action. Most pressing of these
are the reliance and excessive usage of a specific aquifer in the southern portion of the
watershed which includes Dothan, a major population center in my congressional district.
At the current rate, Dothan is expected to deplete a majority of its groundwater reserves
near the year 2040.
In order to complete this analysis, the watershed authority will need additional
funding, estimated at $250,000. I understand that their request will be forthcoming and
hope you will give it your full consideration.
Mr. Chairman, let me also just briefly touch on the ongoing study of the Alabama-
Coosa-Tallapoosa and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basins. This study is
working to identify a mechanism by which the Governors of Alabama, Georgia, and
Florida and the Corps of Engineers can coordinate a reasonable distribution of the water
supply of the two basins. I fully support the objective of this study, and hope that a
resolution can be reached soon that is fair to all parties
Mr. Chairman, let me thank you, Mr. Bevill, and all Members of the subcommittee
for allowing me the opportunity to share my support for Alabama's waterway projects.
While doing that, let me mention that these projects benefit the State of Alabama, but they
equally benefit the entire nation. As we continue to call on our nation's waterways, I call
on you to carefully consider the opinions presented here today.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Bevill. Thank you, very much, Terry. You have been great
to work with and you have been very supportive of all these Ala-
As a matter of fact, it just occurred to me, the entire House dele-
gation of Alabama is in this room now. And I just want to say, Mr.
Chairman, we like to brag about this because, as you know, it is
not always the case up here, we Republicans and Democrats work
together mighty close from Alabama.
When there is a problem in Alabama, all of us get behind it and
we work with one another, in whoever's district. Like Glen Browder
there, with some of the challenges he has had in his district. We
all just join in and support him and help him, and we forget about
the partisan politics.
As a matter of fact, the Chairman and I have pretty well done
that ourselves here. We are probably the most nonpartisan appro-
priations panel in the Congress, I think it would be safe in saying
that. We all just work together to get the job done.
As a matter of fact, this panel always has either the first or the
second appropriation bill out of the 13. We have been hearing
about all these extensions and continuing resolutions and all that.
Well, the Chairman and I have, we have sat back and observed
this because ours was signed before October the 1st.
So we sit back and sympathize with the other Chairmen of the
appropriations panels because they are having to continue to oper-
ate their part of the government, in so many cases, having to oper-
ate with Continuing Resolutions for 2 and 3 weeks, and so forth.
So we sympathize and feel sorry for what they are having to go
through but glad we don't have to go through that because we have
our work done.
Mr. Myers. If you will yield?
Alabama has always been this way, the years we have been here.
But have you ever thought about doing missionary work here in
Mr. Bevill. Well, you know, I am looking for a new job.
Mr. Myers. That would be a job; a task.
Tuesday, February 27, 1996.
HON. GLEN BROWDER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE
STATE OF ALABAMA
Mr. Bevill. We are also pleased to have with us our good friend
here. Congressman Glen Browder, whose unwavering support has
been very helpful to this panel and to Alabama.
Mr. Browder. Thank you, Mr. Chairman Bevill and Mr. Chair-
man Myers, I am sure you don't mind our dual references here. He
will always be Mr. Chairman.
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to speak to the sub-
committee about our waterways in Alabama.
I would also like to thank the gentleman from New Jersey for
being here with us today to listen to our interests and invite you
to come to Alabama one day. And I would note that after this hear-
ing you will bring your wading boots, your fishing pole, your motor-
boat and everything else because we do have a lot of water in Ala-
We have done this for years on Alabama day when so many of
our citizens come to Washington to tell the subcommittee of the im-
portance of our rivers and harbors. This is a special day not only
because it is Alabama day, John and Tom, because we know that
you will be here to work on our bill this year. That makes it special
for us. We want to thank both of you for all you have done for Ala-
bama and wish you well in your future endeavors.
Alabama's rivers are very important to us. They form an exten-
sive transportation network and offer an excellent opportunity for
continued economic development throughout our entire region.
We have more miles of navigable waterways in Alabama than
any other State. Many of the users and friends of these waterways
are represented here today. I will not name them since a couple of
the other Members have, but we welcome them here and appre-
ciate their work.
I support their efforts to maintain and improve these vital water-
ways and urge you to continue to help them. Inland and intra-
coastal waterways furnish an efficient and reliable means of freight
transportation in many parts of the United States. Mr. Bevill does
not have to be told that the barges that use the waterways provide
an inexpensive means of moving high tonnage of shipment of bulk
commodities and fuels. They are a substantial and growing portion
of the Nation's and Alabama's economy.
A Federal role in the improvements and maintenance of inland
rivers and intracoastal waterways has long been recognized. Fed-
eral funds used for that purpose amount to investments that turn
over many times, producing thousands of jobs and billions in taxes.
We are asking for a continuation of that type of investment.
Representatives of the user groups here will give you details of
their needs. I will not mention all the projects that we have asked
you about or the programs that we have asked you about. I think
probably Sonny and Spencer will cover some that I have mentioned
in here to add to the list. What I will ask you to do is to pay atten-
tion to the study that is going on, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
This is very important.
The committee knows about these studies to determine the avail-
ability and demands for water in my district, because all that
water from Georgia flows into Alabama through my district and
some of it back out to south Georgia and to Florida. I urge the sub-
committee to review all of the available data carefully as you seek
to help the citizens of these States use their water supplies intel-
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman Bevill and Mr. Chairman
Myers, and I would like to submit my testimony for the record.
Mr. Bevill. Thank you, very much, for your fine presentation
that you always make.
[The statement of Mr. Browder follows:]
U.S. REP. GLEN BROWDER
SUBCOMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
FOR ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT
MARCH 27, 1996
Mr. Chairman, thank you for giving us this opportunity to
speak to the subcommittee in behalf of the waterways in Alabama.
We have done this for years on "Alabama Day, " when so many of our
citizens come to Washington to tell the subcommittee of the
importance of our rivers and harbors .
This is a special day. It is made even more special by the
fact that you and our beloved Tom Bevill will be here to work on
our bill. We thank you both for all you have done for Alabama and
wish you well in your future endeavors.
Alabama ' s rivers are very important to us . They form an
extensive transportation network and offer an excellent
opportunity for continued economic development throughout our
We have more miles of navigable waterways in Alabama than
any other state. Many of the users and friends of these waterways
are represented here today by members of the Coosa -Alabama River
Improvement Association, Inc., the Warrior -Tombigbee Development
Association and the Tri-Rivers Association.
I support their efforts to maintain and improve these vital
waterways and urge you to continue to help them. Inland and
intra- coastal waterways furnish an efficient and reliable means
of freight transportation in many parts of the United States. The
barges that use the waterways provide an inexpensive means of
BROWDER, PAGE 2
moving high tonnage shipment of bulk commodities and fuels. They
are a substantial and growing portion of the nation's economy.
A federal role in the improvement and maintenance of inland
rivers and intra- coastal waterways has long been recognized.
Federal funds used for that purpose amount to investments that
turn over many times, producing thousands of jobs and billions in
taxes. We are asking for a continuation of that type of
investment. Representatives of the user groups here will give you
the details of their needs.
In addition to the programs advocated by these
associations, I have heard also from the City of Northport, which
is seeking funding for a levee which, upon completion, will
become the linchpin for future economic development in that city.
Also, the Choctawhatchee-Pea Rivers Watershed Management
Authority is seeking funding to conduct an extensive study of the
groundwater supplies and flood control measures in the area
covered by the association. This area, like all of East Alabama,
West Georgia and Florida's Panhandle could experience a critical
water shortage soon.
Finally, and very importantly, this committee knows that
studies are underway to determine the availability and demands
for water in my district and the entire AlaJaama, Georgia, Florida
region. I urge the subcommittee to review all of the available
data carefully as you seek to help the citizens of these states
use their water supplies intelligently.
Tuesday, February 27, 1996.
HON. SPENCER BACHUS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ALABAMA
Mr. Bevill. And we are so glad to have our good friend and col-
league Spencer Bachus this year.
i^d, Spencer, I have always thought highly of his ability and all,
but I was most impressed when he married my beautiful cousin.
I knew then that he was a man to watch out for in the future. So
we are pleased to hear from you, Spencer, and we appreciate your
good support of this panel.
Mr. Bachus. Thank you, Tom.
It is really an honor for me to come before the committee. I mar-
ried his cousin because I thought that might get a building named
Mr. Bevill. Just hang in there, it might work.
Mr. Myers. We don't permit revisions in the testimony here, so
Mr. Bachus. I was traveling up highway 78, which runs from
Birmingham to Memphis, and trying to describe some town to a
friend of mine, and I told him a railroad track ran through it. He
said that helped a little bit. I told him there was a blinker light
at the local school. He said that eliminated one or two towns. And
I told him there was a big building in the middle of town. And he
said that eliminates a few towns. And I said, now, the town I am
talking about, the building is named for a Bevill, the Bevill build-
ing. He said that didn't eliminate any town.
I understand there are two towns in Marion County, 6 miles
apart, which have the same name, Quin and Qu-in, and they both
have Bevill buildings in them, and I think what we ought to do is
have a move up there to distinguish those two towns and name one
for Lou Bevill, Tom's wife, who is more popular than ne is. But
both towns would want their building to be the Lou Bevill building.
I do appreciate this opportunity to come before the committee. I
also am sad to know that, John, you and Tom, which I consider two
of my best friends in Congress, are both leaving and it is not going
to be the same to come to this committee and not see you here.
I remember Dean Gallo, who I admired as much as anybody up
here, and I see Rodney sitting up there, and I guess I take some
comfort in knowing that even though Dean is no longer with us
that he has an able replacement. I know that things have to
change, but I wish you all both well. And, Rodney, welcome to the
committee. I think your mother was a Congress woman; right?
Mr. Frelinghuysen. My father.
Mr. Bachus. Was it your father? Your dad.
Mr. Myers. Tom and I served with him.
Mr. Bachus. That's right. So there is quite a tradition there.
Mr. Myers. We missed Abe Lincoln.
Mr. Bevill. That was in the early 1900s, as I recall.
Mr. Bachus. I want to first say that I have got some constituents
here that are going to talk to you about the Northport Levee. I
want to introduce them each by name; or do we do that at a later
time? What is customary?
Mr. Bevill. That is all right.
Mr. Bachus. I have Charles Swann, who is the City Adminis-
trator of Northport, if you will stand up; Waring Blackburn, who
is the Planning and Development Director of Northport; Lewis
Drummond, is West Alabama Chamber of Commerce President;
Carl Adams, who is head of the Downtown Merchants Association;
and two city councilmen, Dan Morrison and Robert Thomas.
They are here to talk to you about a very important project.
Mr. Bevill. You have all your big guns here, haven't you?
Mr. Bachus. I have them all here and they are all friends of
Tom's. They are going to testify about the flood control levee in
Northport. This is not the first time you have heard about this
project, because I know Congressman Bevill has stressed the im-
portance of it, but when we were approving funding for the Mis-
sissippi River for flood relief and for levee control there, I went out
on the Floor of the House and spoke about the need for that be-
cause I knew about the need in Northport and I said there is a
need in Northport. I know what that levee can mean to Northport
and I know what it means to the people along the Mississippi, and
I spoke about it.
At that time, I thought it was a done deal, and then I found, I
heard first this rumor that the Corps of Engineers, after they ap-
propriated over a million dollars and designed this project, a fea-
sibility study and proved that it was much needed, that they had,
although they were still funding feasibility studies, they were not
going to fund design programs, which made absolutely no sense to
me; that we would continue to fund feasibility studies, but then it
was a dead-end street because we did not then fund the designs.
We have done that in Northport. They have looked at the
projects. They said it is very much needed. We have three public
schools that flood in Northport. We have public housing projects
with our most vulnerable citizens that flood in Northport. And we
very much need this levee.
The Corps of Engineers agree but they have said we are not
going to fund any design projects. This is after the City of
Northport — and they have a very exhaustive document they are
going to give you that shows that they have spent hundreds of
thousands of dollars of their own money for this project and made
I know this committee, you all have also said this doesn't make
any sense. You all formulated language and adopted legislation to
fund these projects and you have been, as I say, up to this time
it appears to me that we have all been ignored by the Corps of En-
gineers. I am very disappointed by that, and I would urge you and
urge the Corps of Engineers — I have written them. They have been
very polite and responsive to my letters, but I have said to them:
Please fund this project. It is tremendously important to these peo-
You know all about what is going on, and I just urge you to use
your considerable influence and persuasive power on the Corps of
Engineers and let us fund this project. It makes absolutely no
sense to not protect those schools and that housing project. It
would cost more to probably move the housing projects than it
would to complete this project.
So with that, I will end my remarks.
I will say that Glen Browder mentioned the water problem we
have over in his district. That project I hear as much about, even
though most of the people affected are in Glen's district, they talk
to me about that problem, and when they talk to me about it, and
it is mostly in Glen's district, I know how concerned they are about
it. I would stress or reiterate and reinforce what he said.
[The statement of Mr. Bachus follows:!
STATEMENT OP THE HONORABLE SPENCER BACHD8
BEFORE THE ENERGY AND WATER SUBCOMMITTEE
PEBROARY 27, 1996
I am pleased to have the opportunity today to testify before
this Subcommittee. I applaud the leadership of my two friends
and colleagues Chairman John Myers and former Chairman Tom
Bevill. This Congress is certainly losing not only two great
leaders but two experts on these important energy and water
issues when both of these respected gentlemen retire at the end
of this term. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to
know and serve with both of them.
I am also glad to introduce some of my constituents from
Northport, Alabama: Mr. Charles Swann, Mr. Waring Blackburn, Mr.
Lewis Drummond, Mr. Carl Adams and Councilmen Dan Morrison and
Robert Thomas. You will hear from them later this morning on the
subject of an important flood control levee for the community of
I vividly remember going on the House floor in 1993 when
communities all along the Mississippi River had just been
devastated by flooding. At that time, Congress was asked to
provide several billion dollars in funding to help these
At that time, I spoke about the chronic flooding inflicted
upon Northport, Alabama and the tremendous benefit that a flood
control levee would provide to help prevent this same kind of
devastation from occurring in Northport. A $1.5 million
appropriation was given and work began on a feasibility study
that was completed this past June. Northport was then ready to
begin the design phase.
At that time, it was rumored that the Army Corps of
Engineers was discussing a policy change that would cut off money
for those projects that were in the design phase. Reflecting
this Committee's strong support for projects like the Northport
Levee, language was inserted in the FY-96 Energy and Water
Appropriations bill disapproving the plan to stop projects in the
Again, thanks to the leadership of this Subcommittee, the
Energy and Water Appropriations bill won quick approval and was
signed into law.
Recently, I was very troubled to learn from correspondence
with the Army Corps that the Corps plans to ignore the will of
Congress. The Corps has indicated that it still plans to halt
funding for on-going projects, and waste all the federal dollars
previously spent en these projects, while approving expenditures
for brand new projects. It is hard to understand why the Army
Corps of Engineers would put on hold these important projects
that will prevent flooding. As we have seen this year in the
Northwest and East, flooding is a serious problem that costs the
government much more than the investment we have placed in these
feasibility studies. Congress should act to reprogram additional
monies for these much needed flood control projects and look into
the blatant disregard of Congressional intent from the Army Corps
regarding Section 205 Flood Control Projects.
I urge the Committee to take action once again to ensure
that projects that have already been initiated are successfully
completed so that we can prevent communities like Northport from
being devastated by flooding.
Again, thank you for the opportunity. I am sorry that I
cannot stay to hear all of the testimony.
Mr. Bevill. Thank you. Very good.
That project is one that is very, very critical, and I remember as
far back as when I took a tour of it one time with Congressman
Harris, the mayor and all, and even then we saw the damage that
the floods have caused in the Northport area. I am very concerned
about that and I hope that we can get something done about it.
Tuesday, February 27, 1996.
HON. SONNY CALXAHAN, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM
THE STATE OF ALABAMA
Mr. Bevill. We are also pleased to have our good friend and col-
league here. Congressman Sonny Callahan, who has done a tre-
mendous job in his area down there with the State docks. And as
we say, all the roads lead to Rome. All the waterways lead to Mo-
bile in the Alabama area, almost, except the Tri-Rivers. That is the
only one I guess that would be an exception. Certainly, that is
where the action is, the tonnage, and where the exports are and
where they leave from — and Sonny has been great to work with.
This committee has worked closely with him.
By the way, I don't know how many of you are aware of it or not,
but he is Chairman of one of the appropriation panels and he is
one of those Cardinals that you have heard of, and so you might
treat him with a little more respect from now on.
Mr. Callahan. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Bevill. We are pleased to have you. Sonny.
Mr. Callahan. Chairman Myers, I would like to tell you one
thing. You have proudly, and rightfully so, mentioned that you
passed your bill before October. I passed mine in January. Of
course, mine was a year late, but nevertheless.
Mr. Myers. Better than some have done.
Mr. Callahan. Twelve years ago when I came to Congress, I rec-
ognized the importance of water commerce in my district. The
briefing that you get as a freshman Member of Congress — ^when
you look at the paper industry, you look at the Port of Mobile, you
look at the chemical industry and the fact that we are the entering
point and the end of the Tennessee-Tombigbee, our entire economy
in south Alabama revolves around water.
When I was briefed on the needs of the State, I found it impera-
tive that I get close to Chairman Bevill at the time. I also found
being in the Minority party that I should get close to the Ranking
Minority Member, now Chairman Myers. So I made it a point to
get close to both of you, not specifically for that selfish reason, be-
cause you are easy to like, both of you, but because of sheer neces-
sity. So I nurtured you, I entertained you. I have had Tom Bevill
at my condominium in Gulf Shores.
Mr. Bevill. We didn't know you were cultivating us. We thought
you just liked us.
Mr. Callahan. I filled his car with seafood when he would leave
my condominium, and then, just to make certain, we even had a
fund-raiser for Mr. Bevill in Mobile, Alabama. Now, here is a Re-
publican raising money for a Democrat.
But I recognized how important you were to me, Tom. And just
to cover my base, that in the event we ever did achieve a Majority,
the Republicans, I even brought John Myers to Mobile, Alabama,
and, boy, did I have it made. Here two of my closest friends in Con-
gress, in these two most powerful positions, then Myers assumes
the chairmanship, everything is going along, and today we find
that both of you are going to retire.
And so. Rod, I want to invite you to my district — ^you are one of
the finest people I have ever met.
Mr. Bevill. Rod, you cannot let him give you any seafood now
with our ethics.
Mr. Frelinghuysen. Mr. Chairman
Mr. Callahan. Members to Members is all right.
Mr. Frelinghuysen. Mr. Chairman, if you will yield; I am glad