Resolution Requesting United States Congress To Authorize And Fund A Demonstration Project On The Upper Monongahela River In West Virginia For Removal And Disposal Of River Trash And Debris

Whereas, flowing river debris, consisting of man-made rubbish and naturally-occurring wood wastes, deposits on river banks and at riverside facilities, and accumulates behind locks and dams on our nation's navigable rivers, creates many problems, such as: (1) Visual and odor pollution; (2) Water-pollution, hazardous to humans and aquatic life, from chemicals and hazardous materials in man-made rubbish; (3) Health arid safety hazards, for community and industrial water intakes, swimmers, water skiers, marinas, public and private docks and launching ramps, and recreational boaters and river commerce; (4) Navigation hazards, for commercial tows and recreational and long-range tourist boaters; (5) Interference with and damage to locks and dams; and

Whereas, no workable and cost-effective methodology exists today to deal with the problem of river debris; and Whereas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is charged with the responsibility for our nation's navigable rivers; and Whereas, state and local governments with navigable rivers within their purview cannot solve the river debris problem on their own, but, are willing to partner with the federal government in addressing the river debris problem.

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the City of Morgantown:

(1) Requests that the Congress of the United Slates authorize and fund a demonstration program to be conducted on the Upper Monongahela River in West Virginia, by the Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to develop the methods and technology needed to solve the problem of river debris removal and disposal and to develop a national technology base for addressing the river debris problem on all our nation's navigable rivers;

(2) Stands ready to partner with the federal government in this endeavor;

(3) Suggests that the federal role focus on the technology for removing f owing river borne debris and debris accumulating at the locks and dams. And, that state and local government entities would focus on means for removing trash from riverbanks, providing transportation and disposal sites for collected river debris, educating the public not to illegally dump trash that subsequently get into streams leading to the river, and, programs that clean up illegal dump sites before they contribute to. river-borne debris.

(4) Suggests that a three phase approach to solving the river debris problem be followed:

(A) Phase I would be for the Corps to prepare a report on historical approaches for dealing with river debris removal and disposal, in the United States and world-wide. The report would also address the economic costs to our nation's economy resulting from the river debris problem, and, a cost-benefit analysis rationale for evaluating solutions to the river debris problem. A first draft of said report would be due six months after congressional authorization for the river debris project. The final report would be due six months later. This phase would also include the development of partnering agreements with state and local government entities, and, business, recreational, and environmental entities, within the West Virginia demonstration region. Further, the Corps would establish a steering committee with representation from appropriate entities within the West Virginia demonstration region, to advise on project implementation. The steering committee might also include other organizations within the United States that have an interest in the river debris problem, and/or who have expertise that bears upon the problem.

(B) Phase 2, lasting perhaps one year following the completion of Phase 1, would develop one or more method and technology approaches for dealing with the river debris problem, with recommendations as to the feasibility of each approach, and, a recommendation for the best and first approach to be tried.

(C) Phase 3, lasting perhaps five years, would implement and test the favored approach for dealing with river debris removal and disposal.

(D) Phase 4, a one year effort, would evaluate results to date, and, propose any further efforts forts needed to continue to improve on methods and technology for solving the river debris problem.

Adopted this 4 th day of November, 2003.