By Sherry Gros

Freelance Writer for Highland Park Mobile AL

08/11/2021

Today I sent off an email to Congressman Jerry Carl of the 1st Congressional District to bring to his attention that his constituents would ask him to co-sponsor the Twenty-First Century Dams Act. I am posting the letter here for you to read. If you are so inclined please feel free to email me for a copy of the letter and I will send it to you to submit to Congressman Jerry Carl with your name and personal details.

RE: Twenty-First Century Dams Act: A Proposal from an Environmental NGO, Hydropower, and Dam Safety Coalition

Dear Representative Carl,

    My  Name is Sherry Gros. I am the current President of Highland Park Community

Association, Inc., (HPca) a nonprofit member corporation in West Mobile AL.  HPca owns a dam

built in  1937 that is part of the Dog River Watershed. These U.S. Waters enter from Milkhouse

Creek, run across our submerged lands are discharged into and traverse through Federally

protected wetland areas below to the Mobile Bay Estuary; as such HPca is committed to dam

maintenance and safety and to protect the ecosystem below us. We want the highest level of

public safety and concern that our sister states enjoy i.e., Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and

Tennessee.  Passing Federal legislation will bring us that much closer to safer dam safety,

operations, and support.      

     As a constituent and member of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, I am writing to

request, in the strongest terms possible, you co-sponsor

legislation providing immediate and necessary investment in our nation’s dams. The Twenty-

First Century Dams Act (HR4375) will accelerate the rehabilitation, retrofit and removal of the

nation’s dams to improve public safety, enhance energy output and restore the health of our

nation’s rivers.  This proposed legislation will provide $21.1 Billion in needed funding to assure

the safety of the nation and Alabama’s dams, to improve and expand hydropower generation

and to remove abandoned and useless dams to restore our country and Alabama’s dams and

rivers.  Removal of dams that no longer provide benefits will not only improve public safety, but

will restore free-flowing rivers, enhance endangered fish species efforts, improve water quality

and create jobs.  Investing in hydropower will create more renewable energy, reduce carbon  

output, create jobs and provide needed resilience.  The bill supports dam safety, too often

neglected in other infrastructure funding efforts. The Twenty-First Century Dam Act will provide  

funding to assist state regulatory programs through direct assistance grants, additional funding

for federal funding programs to rehabilitate high hazard dams such as FEMA, High Hazard

Potential Dams Program, USDA and  U.S. Watershed Rehabilitation Programs and the US Army

Corps of Engineers Water Infrastructure Financing Program. Assistance grant funding to state

dam safety programs will increase capacity to perform additional inspections provide greater

oversight as well as delineate high consequence areas below dams and the development of

Emergency Action Plans necessary to identify a potential dam failure in progress and evacuate

the downstream population at risk. The legislation closes a significant gap in oversight by

providing funding to the US Army Corps of Engineers to inspect the nearly 4000 critical high or

significant hazard dams that are unregulated. The US Army Corps of Engineers will also develop

dam failure inundation maps and Emergency Action Plans. These dam safety funding initiatives

in the legislation will undoubtedly improve our nations dams.  There are currently 90,000 dams

in the USA with approximately 3800 high hazard dams that are rated as poor,

unsatisfactory or are unrated. This bill will also provide significant benefits to the safety of dams

in the State of Alabama.

     Thank you for your consideration. I am available to meet with you and your staff as needed

to discuss this very important issue for funding of critical infrastructure. Please see attached.

Sincerely,

Sherry Lynn Gros, President

Highland Park Community Association, Inc

7310 Lakeview Dr E

Mobile, AL 36695

251-288-4491

email: highlandparkcommunityassoc@gmail.com

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