WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today participated in a hearing on the nomination of Michael Connor to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works at the Department of Defense.
PROTECTING WEST VIRGINIANS FROM FLOODS: “On flood risk management, we had a terrible flood in 2016—I might have mentioned this on the phone with you—that took 23 lives and destroyed more than 1,000 homes in West Virginia. The Corps has been very active in trying to prevent such things from happening. I did put initial funding for the Kanawha River Basin Feasibility Study to determine what additional projects might be needed for improved flood risk management. So I’m going to ask you today will you continue to work with me to initiate this study?”
RESPECTING THE ROLE OF STATES: “We did talk on the phone about the length of time it takes for certain permitting. By the time you get all the different agencies and coordination between state and local and federal. I guess my question is not so much the length of time, but in your experience, do you think that states are capable of protecting environmental resources such as water resources within their own borders? How do you see that interplay of cooperative federalism playing out?”
EXPEDITING PERMITTING: “When you look at the different agencies that weigh in on whatever project…by the time you go through the permitting process of all that, you’re into years. Years not only don’t solve the problem, but they also cost a lot of money at the same time, and a lot of people walk away from projects at a certain periods of time because they obviously can’t afford to stay in the process. So however we can help you with that we certainly want to see the thoroughness there but also the timeliness at the same time.”
EVER-CHANGING WOTUS RULE: “What challenges will the Corps face – including related to obtaining permits for Corps projects – if a new WOTUS definition is finalized that is more expansive than the 2015 rule?”
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