Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will grant $1 million towards the Santa Clara River and the former Whitaker Bermite site.
For over five years, Senator Howard “Buck” McKeon has been working with the federal government to ensure the restoration of both the Santa Clara River and the Whitaker Bermite site.
His efforts have finally started to pay off. Just last week the House passed the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, that will fund the clean up of two contaminated sites here in Santa Clarita. Both the dry Santa Clara River and the contaminated former Whitaker Bermite site will benefit from the funds.
A total of $500,000 was granted to The Santa Clara River Restoration Project, which focuses on evaluating the transportation of the reclaimed water from the Sanitation District's Valencia treatment plant upstream to the Canyon Country area and reintroduce it into the dry riverbed.
Right in the middle of the city, between San Fernando Road, Golden Valley Road, and Soledad Canyon Road, Whitaker Bermite, the former munition manufacturing site is filled with perchlorate, rocket fuel, and heavy metals. Over the years, five water drinking wells have been closed because of precautionary reasons. Another $500,000 has been granted towards the restoration of this site as well.
The Bill has excited many city officials, including Santa Clarita’s Mayor Marsha McLean. “I can’t begin to express how delighted we are that Congressman McKeon was able to secure these funds on behalf of our city. The federal assistance directed to these two important projects will help the Army Corps of Engineers projects progress and will benefit the entire Valley area.”
McKeon, too, was pleased to see the House pass the bill. “I was certainly pleased in this joint effort with the City of Santa Clarita to secure requested funding for my hometown to guarantee the local groundwater isn’t contaminated and to continue studies that are necessary to keep the general public protected.”
From here, the bill moves to the U.S. Senate for a vote and later to conference between both Houses.