Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s WRDA oversight hearing opening statement. Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions for the witnesses.

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 entitled, “Water Resources Development Act Oversight: USACE Implementation of Water Infrastructure Projects, Programs and Priorities,” where she questioned Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, and Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).


OVERSIGHT OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS: “Last year, we provided the Corps with more than $22 million in addition to appropriations with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the disaster supplemental with Hurricane Ida. Funding is obviously critical, but if permitting approvals are not approved in a timely fashion, these projects cannot move forward. Understanding how the Corps has used and continues to use those funds will help us understand what we need to do in the future. So, I guess the first question is a very broad one but the status of the spend plans of those funds and what is the Corps doing to help streamline the permitting and environmental review process so we can get these projects moving?”

STATUS OF WOTUS & CORPS PERMITTING: “Are you saying some of the permits that have already been granted under the previous administration could retroactively be revoked?...Under that rule are you saying they could be revoked?”

DEFINITION OF ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED: “In WRDA 2020, we talked about delivering projects, that there was a provision defining ‘economically disadvantaged’ communities. My understanding is that the agency has not done that. So, I want to know where the development of that definition is and if you are following through on the directed language from that bill that said you would use the economic distressed criteria that EDA uses and that you are following through on that directive and using that as the definition and where you are on this specific provision in the former WRDA 2020.”


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