Gibbs Statement from Hearing on Recent Army Corps of Engineers Chief’s Reports
Two years after enactment of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, we are returning to the regular business of enacting a WRDA bill every two years. WRDA bills address the needs of America’s harbors, waterways, locks, dams, and other water resources infrastructure to strengthen and ensure the Nation’s economic competitiveness.
Today we are holding a hearing to review four Army Corps of Engineers Chief’s Reports that have been delivered to Congress since this Subcommittee’s previous hearing on February 24th of this year. We intend to review these critical documents to ensure they balance critical investments in infrastructure along with environmental protections.
Additionally, last Friday, the Corps of Engineers delivered to Congress three Post Authorization Change Reports, recommending modifications to ongoing construction projects at Blue River, Missouri; Turkey Creek, Missouri; and Paducah, Kentucky.
The Corps of Engineers constructs projects for the purposes of navigation, flood control, shoreline protection, hydroelectric power, recreation, environmental protection, restoration and enhancement, and fish and wildlife mitigation.
The Corps of Engineers planning process considers economic development and environmental needs as it addresses water resources challenges. The planning process addresses the Nation’s water resources needs by exploring a full range of alternatives in developing solutions that meet both national and local needs.
The four Chief’s Reports and three Post Authorization Change Reports we are discussing today are the result of this rigorous planning process. These projects are proposed by non-federal interests in cooperation and consultation with the Corps. All of these Chief’s Reports and Post Authorization Change Reports, while tailored to meet locally developed needs, have national economic and environmental benefits. These Chief’s Reports and Post Authorization Change Reports address the missions of the Corps and balance economic development and environmental considerations equally.
Since these Chief’s Reports and Post Authorization Change Reports were completed and submitted to Congress subsequent to the submission of the 2016 Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development, we would like to spend some time today to take a closer look at them.
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