Page images
PDF
EPUB

chargeable to the two reservoirs. Of the latter amount $1,671,936 is allocated to flood prevention, which amounts to about $1,700 per acre of flood plain. Under the plan, Public Law 566 funds would bear $1,176,946 or about 62 percent of the total first cost of the engineering works. The sponsors offer to furnish easements and rights-of-way, administer contracts, operate and maintain the project, and provide $154,230 of the construction and installation costs.

The average annual benefits claimed for the engineering works total $145,603, made up of Value of recreation at proposed reservoirs-

$84, 249 Value of recreation foregone in Rock Creek because of floods.

22, 974 Value of reducing sediment inflow to Potomac River

20, 776 Reduction in flood damages (to park facilities).

5, 333 Reduction in indirect flood damages.

12, 271 Total.

145, 603 In arriving at the first and second items it was assumed that a person-day of recreation has a value of $2. In calculating the third item it was assumed that each cubic yard of sediment entering the Potomac River results in a damage of $1.25.

The proposed works would not adversely affect any present or contemplated projects of this Department, and we would have no objection to extension of Federal assistance to the local organizations, pursuant to the provisions of Public Law 566, in such amount as the Secretary of Agriculture may deem justified. But, for the record we are compelled to state that we do not consider recreation foregone because of floods to be a real damage, in the sense that destruction of property is a damage, since recreation in Rock Creek Park is not only deferrable, but replacable at the time by alternative forms of recreation of approximately the same value. It is necessary to point this out in defense of the widely accepted view that it is ordinarily more economic to zone flood plains for park use than to provide the costly flood protection required if their development is permitted. The Secretary of Agriculture may wish to consider this point in determining whether the flood protection component of the multiple purpose plan is justified as an addition to the primary recreation component. Sincerely yours,

W. F. SCHAUB, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management).

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE,

Washington, D.C., February 4, 1963. Lt. Gen. WALTER K. WILSON, Jr., Chief, Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army.

DEAR GENERAL WILSON: Mr. Schaub's letter of November 20, 1962, expressing the views of the Department of the Army on the work plan for upper Rock Creek watershed, Montgomery County, Md., dated August 1962, has been referred to the Soil Conservation Service for consideration.

We note that the Department of the Army has no objection to the extension of Federal assistance under Public Law 566 for the development of the project proposed for the upper Rock Creek watershed but does have reservations with respect to the flood protection component of the multiple-purpose plan.

We agree that for many situations it would be more economical to zone undeveloped flood plains for park use in lieu of building costly works of improvement for flood protection to permit intensive development providing the contemplated development is not totally precluded or the increased cost of such development in another location exceeds the cost of the protective measures. This does not imply, however, that floods do not cause real damage in areas devoted to park use. It merely lessens the impact of floods on the economy of an area where alternative opportunities for intensive development exist.

The measure of flood damage to a park area, in our opinion, is the limitation placed on its use by the occurrence of floods. The public investment in land and facilities for park purposes is justified on the basis of maximum feasible use. As such use is precluded, the value to the public is reduced. It would appear

logical to express this loss in terms of the number of persons denied use of the park facilities. The fact that alternative forms of recreation during flood periods might be available does not in any way compensate for the loss of the use of the park area for which public funds were expended. In conclusion, we believe that the justification of expenditures for flood protection on the basis of redueing damage to public use areas is appropriate.

With specific reference to Rock Creek Park, which will be protected by this proposed project, we wish to point out that the act of June 6, 1924, Publie Law 202, 68th Congress, 1st session, established a National Capital Park Commission and authorized and directed the Commission to acquire land in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia for the purpose of preserving forests and natural scenery in and about Washington, and for the purpose of providing for the comprehensive systematic and continuous development of the park, parkwas, and playground system of the National Capital. The act of May 29, 1930, Public Law 284, 71st Congress, 2d session, authorized appropriations for the extension of Rock Creek Park into Maryland. These two acts express the intent of the Congress that Rock Creek Park be preserved and protected as an area of unique natural beauty for use by the public. It apparently was recognized that there were a limited number of stream valleys in the National Capital area and congressional action was essential if those valleys were to be preserved to furnish outdoor recreational opportunities for the metropolitan population. These acts indicates that the Congress did not believe there were alternative forms of recreation that could be substituted for the public use and enjoyment of these natural areas within the densely populated National Capital area.

We believe that the plan for the upper Rock Creek watershed complements the desire of the Congress to make Rock Creek Park accessible at all times. The reduction of floods in this area will enhance the opportunities for full enjoyment of Rock Creek Park as envisioned by the Congress and will permit its use by the public without delays and interruption. We appreciate your Department's views on this matter. Sincerely yours,

GLADWIN YOUNG, Acting Administrator.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE,

PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE,

Washington, D.C., November 6, 1962. Mr. D. A. WILLIAMS, Administrator, Soil Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. WILLIAMS: This is in response to your September 28, 1962, request for review and comments on the work plan for the Upper Rock Creek Watershed, Montgomery County, Md.

Rock Creek presently receives some organic wastes from the overflow of combined sewers and other sources. However, the completion of works of improve ment now in advanced stages of planning will result in significant reduction of the contributory waste loads. The proposed work plan will also improve water quality in Rock Creek by reducing the silt content and stabilizing the flow some what. There no known use of the waters of Rock Creek for water supply purposes, but it will serve recreational uses for which high quality of water must be maintained. The plan will have no effect on water supplies under the present conditions or within the foreseeable future.

The overall effects of the project should be beneficial from the mosquito CODtrol standpoint since a reduction in flooding should result in a decrease in the production of highly annoying floodwater mosquitoes. As public health safe guards against vector mosquito production, the following recommendations are made: (1) Clear the permanent pools of growth and debris before impounding: (2) locate borrow areas where they will be permanently inundated, or make them self-draining; (3) eliminate seepage areas by providing drains to natural channels; and (4) provide for periodic removal of vegetation from inundated areas.

The opportunity to review the work plan is appreciated. We stand ready to supply further consultation on your request. Sincerely yours,

KEITH S. KRAUSE, Chief, Technical Services Branch, Division of Water Supply and Pollution

Control.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, D.C., November 20, 1962. Hon. OBVILLE L. FREEMAN, Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The work plan for Upper Rock Creek Watershed, Md., sent to this Department for the views and recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior, in accordance with section 2 of Executive Order 10913 and provisions of section 5 of the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, as amended, has been reviewed and the following comments are offered.

The Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife advises that Rock Creek and its tributaries afford little fishing except for the 2-mile segment on the mainstem below its confluence with Mill Creek. This segment supports a put-and-take trout fishery which is unique in that natural trout habitat seldom occurs at such low elevations in this latitude.

Construction and operation of the reservoirs at sites 1 and 5 would inundate 1 mile of existing trout habitat and increase the water temperature downstream from the structures, with the result that Rock Creek would no longer support a trout fishery. In a report to the State conservationist, dated August 3, 1961, the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife described stream impoundment de vices and a modification of drop-inlet structures that would prevent projectoccasioned damages to the trout fishery, and recommended that these measures be installed.

All of the features recommended by the Bureau for mitigation have been included in the work plan. However, the Bureau is concerned that the work plan treats the recommended modifications as enhancement features and does not acknowledge the contribution of the Bureau.

Properly managed, the impoundments will support a sport fishery, even though the water exchange is great. Fishing opportunity afforded by the reservoirs will be contingent on the compatibility of other recreational use permitted. Wildlife resources will be little affected by the project.

It is requested that the enclosed report of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife be attached as part of the work plan.

The Bureau of Mines reports that the work plan proposes the building of two dams and accompanying reservoirs above State Route No. 28 for flood control, sediment reduction, fish and wildlife development, and recreation. The two reservoirs would total 128 acres in surface area and the flood detention volume would be 7,090 acre-feet. The benefit-to-cost ratio would be 1.4 to 1.0. The project would greatly reduce the sediment runoff and the water damages to lower Rock Creek Park.

Although stone was produced in 1961 in at least two locations in Montgomery County, the operating deposits were not in the immediate area of the reservoirs. There are no known commercial mineral deposits that would be affected in any way, beneficially or adversely.

Other interested agencies of the Department advise that no adverse effects are anticipated by the proposed improvement in areas under their jurisdiction.

Providing the modifications recommended by the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife are incorporated, the Department offers no objection to the proposed work plan. Sincerely yours,

KENNETH HOLUM, Assistant Secretary of the Interior.

MONTGOMERY SOIL CONSERVATION DISTRICT,

Rockville, Md., May 23, 1963. Hon. Pat McNAMARA, Chairman, Senate Public Works Committee, 0.8. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SENATOR MCNAMARA: We have been informed that the work plan for the Upper Rock Creek Watershed, a project under Public Law 566, has been scheduled for a hearing before the Public Works Committee of the Senate on May 28, 1963.

The board of supervisors of the Montgomery Soil Conservation District together with the County Council of Montgomery County, Md., and the Mary

98-927-63

2

land-National Capital Park and Planning Commission are sponsoring this project. We request approval for the plan so the flood control and watershed protection measures which are planned can be established.

This project will reduce flooding in the Rock Creek Valley with many benefits to highways, park improvements, and other improvements. The plan includes two lakes with additional water for recreation and fishing behind two food retention structures, on the edge of the Washington metropolitan area.

The project also makes a contribution to reduction of siltation in the Potomac River at Washington. The two retention structures in the Rock Creek plan are recognized as part of the upstream measures included in the Potomac Rirer Basin plan which is being developed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

The ratio of benefits to costs is estimated at 1.3 to 1 over a 50-year period. Other features of the Upper Rock Creek watershed plan are described in a twopage summary which is enclosed. Your consideration and support will be appreciated greatly. Sincerely yours,

LINDY N. BEALL, Chairman, Montgomery Soil Conservation District. Enclosure.

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE ROCK CREEK WATERSHED PLAN The Upper Rock Creek Watershed work plan provides for flood control in the Rock Creek Valley and protection of the upper watershed of the Rock Creek Basin. The plan has been developed by the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a project under Public Law 566 which makes Federal assistance available for upstream flood prevention and watershed protec tion as a part of the total soil and water conservation job.

The Rock Creek project is a plan for two large earth-fill dams to regulate storm water drainage, reduce flooding, and create two lakes for recreation purposes. The lakes will furnish cold water for 2 miles of trout stream improve ment. In addition to the dams, the plan provides a land treatment program to reduce siltation and sediment deposits in the lakes by controlling soil erosion on the lands of the watershed above the dams.

Both the dams will be located between Rockville and Olney, above State Route 28. One dam will be built on the north branch and the other on the main stream of Rock Creek just above Crabb's Branch. The lakes above the dams will be 54 acres and 74 acres in surface area. The storm water flood storage capacity of the dams will cover 168 acres and 217 acres, surface area respectively.

All of the land directly involved in dam construction, flood storage, and recreational development will be included in Upper Rock Creek Park under the jurisdietion of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The project is designed to provide maximum feasible flood protection to existing and proposed park facilities in the Rock Creek Park system in Montgomery County and the District of Columbia. It will permit more intensive use of flood plain land for recreation; provide new water recreational facilities: apply soil and water conservation measures on lands in the upper watershed: and reduce soil erosion and sediment depositions.

Development of the project will alleviate or reduce flooding of park roads, interruption of highway traffic, damage to bridges and culverts, deposition of debris and sediment, interruption of park use, and damage to park facilities. In addition, it is estimated that the dams and land treatment when installed will reduce by more than 50 percent the silt load transported by Rock Creek and dumped into the Potomac River.

The flood retarding feature of the dams will be completely built in and automatic in operation. Maintenance will be limited to such items as debris removal, cleanup after high water, and repair to grassed areas which may hare been damaged.

Estimated total cost of the project is $2,128,386, scheduled to be spent orer a 5-year period. Of this, the Federal share under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (Public Law 566, and amendments) would be $1.286,734 and the local share $841,652 (as revised December 1962).

The Soil Conservation Service, which administers the Watershed Protection Act for the Department of Agriculture, will provide the Federal share of the cost of construction, installation services, and technical assistance for the land treatment program.

[merged small][ocr errors]

The Montgomery Soil Conservation District will encourage and assist landowners to plan, apply, and maintain soil and water conservation practices on privately owned lands in the upper watershed.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will provide the necessary land, easements, and rights-of-way and most of the non-Federal share of the costs. The commission will be the contracting agency for the project and will operate and maintain the principal improvements.

The Montgomery County Council through its department of public works will defray the cost of elevating the Needwood Road bridge and its approaches over Rock Creek as well as necessary changes in utilities. The county department of recreation will also be involved. Several other Federal and State agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Maryland Game and Inland Fish Commission, have assisted in the development of the work plan.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has redesigned a sewerline project to bypass one of the proposed impoundment sites.

This is the first watershed work plan under the Public Law 566 Watershed Act to be developed in a metropolitan area involving urban and rural groups and a park and planning commission in a cooperative undertaking with the Department of Agriculture. The plan is the result of 7 years of effort by many private and public organizations and agencies, begun by a citizens group called the Rock Creek Watershed Association, to which belongs much of the credit for the accomplishment.

The upper Rock Creek watershed plan has been approved by Secretary of Agriculture, Orville L. Freeman. It is currently being reviewed by the Federal Bureau of the Budget and will next be forwarded to the Senate and House Public Works Committees for action, as required by law.

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY,

Fort Collins, Colo., May 23, 1963. Hon. Pat McNAMARA, Chairman, Senate Public Works Committee, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SENATOR MCNAMABA: I understand that your committee will hold hearings on May 28 on the work plan for the Upper Rock Creek Watershed in Montgomery County, Md., with a view to considering its authorization for an action program under the provisions of Public Law 566 as amended.

As a former longtime resident of Montgomery County, Md., and of the watershed as well, I am thoroughly familiar with the difficulties on Rock Creek that gave rise to the initiation of flood control and related investigations and the preparation of the present work plan. I know from personal observation and study how unstabilizing forces and uncontrolled waterflows can damage community values and on the other hand how soundly prepared projects can alleviate such conditions.

I firmly believe the Rock Creek project to be essential for flood protection and enhancement of valuable park and private property and for promoting more effective agricultural use and sound suburban and recreational developments in the National Capital region. I therefore hope that you and your committee will approve the work plan for authorization as an action program. Thank you for your consideration of this matter. Respectfully,

BERNARD FRANK, Professor of Watershed Management.

CITIZENS COUNCIL FOR A CLEAN POTOMAC,

Silver Spring, Md., April 29, 1693. Re watershed work plan, upper Rock Creek watershed. Hon. Pat McNAMARA, Chairman, Committee on Public Works, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.O.

DEAR SENATOR MCNAMARA: The Citizens Council for a Clean Potomac is in complete agreement with the objectives of the work plan for the upper Rock

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »