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NFC: Fw: Army Corps Reform Update for November 3, 2000
Army Corps Reform Update for November 3, 2000
CONGRESS APPROVES WRDA, SENDING BILL TO PRESIDENT
Today, the House passed the Senate-House Conference Report of the
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2000, the omnibus
legislation that authorizes Corps of Engineers water projects. The
Senate approved the Report earlier in the week.
The bill, awaiting the President's signature, authorizes numerous
environmental restoration programs including a $7.8 billion program
to restore the Florida Everglades Ecosystem (the main push for
passing WRDA in the last days before the highly contended election),
but fell short of expectations of Corps Reform advocates in its
failure to include significant reform measures.
The reforms included in WRDA include a study looking into independent
review of large or controversial projects, a pilot program for post-
project monitoring, increased stakeholder involvement if
found "appropriate", and an investigation into the effectiveness of
full, concurrent mitigation of adverse environmental impacts.
To view a copy of the final legislation, visit http://thomas.loc.gov
and search for S. 2796.
More information on necessary reforms, visit
VICTORY! CONGRESS REMOVED ANTI-ENVIRONMENTAL SECTIONS IN WRDA!
Thanks to everyone who called/emailed Representatives Shuster (R-PA)
and Oberstar (D-MI) and Senators Bob Smith (R-NH) and Baucus (D-MT)
to oppose Sec.225 and Sec. 220, which would allow the corps to
rehabilitate dams without environmental consideration, and create a
preference for mitigation banks over site-specific mitigation for
Army Corps civil works projects, respectfully. Several other
controversial provisions were removed in the House-Senate conference,
Additionally, despite the efforts to the counter of Rep. Bud Shuster
(PA-9th-R), the chairman of the House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee, 52 potential environmental infrastructure
projects that were in an earlier House version of WRDA were NOT
included in the House-Senate Conference Report that Congress approved
and is now awaiting Presidential approval.
Together, these projects would authorize $386.7 million in new
spending, and represent the largest expansion of environmental
infrastructure for the Army Corps of Engineers since several pilot
projects were authorized in 1992. A report on the effectiveness of
the pilot program was due by the end of 1998, but it has not been
completed. Thus, no consideration of the environmental
infrastructure projects' fiscal impact or their tendency to subsidize
sprawl in the undeveloped suburban areas has been investigated.
HOWEVER, Members may seek to add these environmental infrastructure
projects to appropriations legislation in the waning days of the
106th Congress. The Honorable Bill Young
TAKE ACTION! Contact Chairman Bill Young of the House Appropriations
Committee at 202-225-5961 and urge him to keep the final
appropriations bills clean of these unnecessary environmental
infrastructure projects as well as all other anti-environmental, anti-
taxpayer extraneous riders.
LAST NATIONAL "LISTENING SESSION" - ATTEND AND SUBMIT COMMENTS
All summer the Army Corps of Engineers hosted 'listening sessions'
across the country to open dialogue with stakeholders and concerned
citizens and to assess the needs and priorities for the nation's
Help voice concerns of the environmental community! Attend the last
listening session on Thursday, November 9th, 2000 at Crystal Gateway
Marriot, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202.
Learn more about the Corps' listening sessions at
http://www.wrsc.usace.army.mil/iwr/waterchallenges/ or find out more
about American Rivers' Corps Reform campaign at
CONTROVERSIAL MISSISSIPPI AND ILLINOIS LOCK-EPANSION STUDY DELAYED
The Corps is going back to the drawing board as it reviews a
controversial $1 billion lock-expansion project because of lower
forecasts for barge traffic on the upper Mississippi and Illinois
rivers. The corps' decision to incorporate new traffic figures into
its analysis will delay the corps' 7-year, $54 million study by at
least another year.
CORPS' EXPANDING ENVIRONMENTAL MISSION
The current Water Resources Development Act expands one of the Corps'
primary missions, environmental restoration, by authorizing a score
of restoration projects throughout the country including:
Lower Columbia Estuary ($40 million); Ohio River restoration ($307
million); Upper Mississippi sediment and nutrient reduction study;
Everglades Restoration =96 1st phase ($1.4 billion); Clear Creek non-
structural flood control; Illinois Basin restoration ($100 million);
Florida Keys water quality ($100 million); Jackson Hole, WY ($52
million); Upper Newport Bay, CA ($32 million); Tres Rios, AZ ($99
million); Wolf River, TN ($11 million); Duwamish/Green, WA ($116
million); and Stillagumaish River Basin, WA ($24 million).
WRDA also authorizes 20 new restoration programs to be implemented
under the Corps' continuing authorities (section 1135 and 206).
Projects are in Colorado (2), Florida (3), Illinois (1), Michigan
(1), Nebraska (2), New York (6), Ohio (1), Oregon (3) and
To learn more about the Corps' environmental mission, visit