mitch mcConnell 300WASHINGTON (8/12/14) — U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was successful in helping expedite a Biological Opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which was needed in order to proceed with the construction of the proposed Marshall County-Calvert City Riverport Project.

The project, which proposes to renovate a port along the Tennessee River in Calvert City, has been delayed due to permitting requirements after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found two locations at the site where the habitats of federally listed endangered mussels and bats could be impacted by the project. The area is located near multiple manufacturing facilities and Interstate connections – conditions ripe for increased freight movement and commerce along our country’s inland waterways, including the Tennessee-Cumberland-Tenn-Tom Waterway system.

In June, 2014, Senator McConnell was contacted by local officials for assistance in speeding up the review in order for the project to get underway. Senator McConnell reached out to the Director of the USFWS and requested that he expedite the review, which normally would have taken 135 days, or until October, and further delayed this economic development project until next year as winter weather is not conducive to construction. Senator McConnell was notified this week that the Biological Opinion has been sent to the USACE. In a June 27, 2014, letter to the Director of the USFWS, Senator McConnell wrote that he was contacted by Judge Executive Mike Miller of Marshall County and the Mayor of Calvert City, Lynn Jones, regarding the delay in the construction of the Riverport Project. “I am told the Riverport project simply cannot afford a four month setback that will jeopardize swift construction in the warm, summer months. The community estimates this could delay project completion by over a year, allowing valuable economic opportunities to fall by the wayside,” Senator McConnell wrote in the letter. He also urged the “USFWS to work with the USACE to expedite consideration” of the Biological Opinion.

“This is great news for the community because the Riverport Project is expected to result in welcomed job creation and economic growth,” Senator McConnell said. “I was pleased to work with Judge Executive Miller and Mayor Jones on the project, which will better position Kentucky’s manufacturing base in the region.”

"We appreciate Senator McConnell for speeding up the process on this project so that we can be in a position of economic development,” said Judge Executive of Marshall County, Mike Miller.

"Without assistance from Mitch McConnell, this project would not have moved forward in a timely manner. We are lucky to have a friend like Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate,” said Lynn Jones, Mayor of Calvert City.

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