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Congressman Ken Buck

Representing the 4th District of Colorado

Tipton and Buck Work to Secure $2 Million for Arkansas Valley Conduit

April 30, 2015
Press Release

FOR IMMEDAITE RELEASE

CONTACT: Katherine Rosario, 202-226-8414

Washington – The House voted Wednesday to shift $2 million of funding from the Department of Energy’s salaries and expenses account to the Bureau of Reclamation’s water and related resources account. The money will be used to help fund the Arkansas Valley Conduit (AVC), a regional water supply project, which will deliver treated drinking water to rural water providers in southeast Colorado. Congressman Ken Buck (R-CO) supported Rep. Scott Tipton's (R-CO) amendment and released the following statement:

“This project was authorized in 1962 to bring clean drinking water to 40 communities in southeast Colorado, many of which are in violation of clean water standards because of naturally occurring elements. Why don’t we spend some money to benefit future generations instead of ourselves?”

Congressman Buck also spoke in support of the Tipton amendment on the House floor.

Congressman Ken Buck on the House Floor

According to the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, the AVC is a feature of the federal Fryingpan-Arkansas (Fry-Ark) Project, which was constructed and is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation). It was included in the original 1962 authorizing legislation for the Project. This regional water supply project will deliver treated drinking water to nearly 40 small, rural water providers from east of Pueblo to the state line.  

The AVC will address safe water drinking problems for residents of southeast Colorado. Lower Arkansas River communities currently use groundwater wells to supply their drinking water.  However, more and more towns have found that their groundwater contains naturally occurring cancer-causing radioactive contaminants, such as radium and uranium, in concentrations that exceed primary drinking water standards mandated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has notified these water providers that they must treat water supplies to remove these contaminants or find a better quality water source. Water providers in Lower Arkansas River communities are also having  a difficult time meeting non-mandatory secondary drinking water standards for salts and sulfate. Some water providers are not meeting secondary drinking water standard for iron. Replacing contaminated groundwater supplies with local surface water from the Arkansas River is problematic because the river downstream of Pueblo also contains high levels of selenium, sulfates, uranium, and salts.

Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04) is the Freshman Class President. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  He serves on the OGR Subcommittees on Government Operations and the Interior and is a member of the Judiciary Subcommittees on Immigration and Border Security and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations.

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