WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today led a hearing to assist with the development of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2024, which authorizes projects, programs, and other activities under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Civil Works program.



Chairman Tom Carper:

“[I]n the past several reauthorizations, we have made historic changes to Corps policy ... We have made cost shares more favorable for underserved and for Tribal communities. We have given the Corps authority to review their contracting procedures. And, we have directed the Corps to consider the impacts of climate change in just about everything [they] do.”

Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“In WRDA 2022, Congress authorized 25 new construction projects, 94 new feasibility studies and 131 new environmental infrastructure projects. This legislation continued the trend of advancing our mission by enabling critical policy transformations to address the changing needs of the nation's water resource infrastructure. That legislation provided the Corps flexibility to design projects that respond to a wider suite of impacts associated with climate change, addressing the needs of our small, rural and disadvantaged communities, as well as supporting our Tribal partners with enhanced flexibilities.”


Chairman Carper:

“[W]hile the last three WRDA bills have been transformative, implementation of these laws is taking longer than expected. In some cases, a good deal longer. We need to better understand how we can help the Corps implement these laws more expeditiously.”

Chairman Carper:

 “Some of the delays that we are talking about don’t just date back to WRDA 2022 — they date back as far as 2007, which is just not acceptable.”

General Spellmon:

“We are not perfect — there is a lot of work we can continue to do to get better and … we are committed to it.”


Chairman Carper:

“Senator Capito and our teams are in agreement that WRDA 2024 will focus on individual project solutions giving the Corps the ability to dedicate more time and additional resources to fully implement the changes we’ve already made in past pieces of legislation.”

Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito:

“[WRDA 2024] will focus on authorizing new or modifying existing studies and projects, as well as making much-needed technical changes to prior provisions in order to better reflect the intent of Congress.

“This limited scope will enable the Corps to focus the energy and resources on fully implementing prior WRDA provisions, which will ensure that [they] continue to be responsive to water resource needs.”

Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s questions.

Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s opening statement.