U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today pushed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to expedite the deployment of funds for watercraft inspection stations to combat the spread of adult mussels wreaking havoc on Montana’s ecosystem.
Daines met with the Commander of the Northwest Division Brigadier General Scott Spellmon, Director-Programs Directorate, Northwestern Division Dave Ponganis and Engineering Officer, Aide-de-Camp, First Lieutenant Eric Chu.
“It’s important we get these watercraft inspection stations up and operating – its one of the most effective ways we can stop the spread of invasive mussels,” Daines stated. “We need to cut through the bureaucratic chatter and talk about what we need to do now to stop the spread of the invasive mussels which is negatively impacting our ecosystem and economy.”
The Northwest Division has jurisdiction over Seattle, Omaha, Portland, Walla Walla and Kansas City Districts, includes 14 states, 107 tribes and entirety of both the Columbia and Missouri River Basins.
Recently, invasive mussel larvae was confirmed in the Tiber Reservoir and possibly found in the Canyon Ferry as well. If adult mussels spread, they can block hydropower and irrigation ducts, as well as wreak havoc on the ecosystem, recreation and tourism.
On November 29, 2016, Daines staff met with Seattle District Commander Colonel Buck to request Col. Buck’s personal attention to this matter.
On November 21, 2016, Daines authored a letter to the Corps requesting them to expedite implementation and distribution of funds for watercraft inspection stations as codified in Section 1039 of the Water Resource Reform Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.