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 examine the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Project Partnership Agreements in advance of the development of the Water Resources Development Act of 2024 (WRDA 2024).
ON THE NEED FOR GREATER CERTAINTY AND PREDICTABILITY:
“Since 2012, the Corps has dramatically changed the project agreement process, developing templates, streamlining requirements to provide consistency and fair treatment to stakeholders. Having said that, not every Corps project is the same. Stakeholders have raised with us … that these agreements need to be made more flexible and that many of the requirements are cumbersome.
“Ultimately, it’s our job in Congress to ensure that federal investments are protected. At the same time, we must also ensure that non-federal stakeholders can support the projects and … are not made to assume an unreasonable amount of risk.”
ON IMPROVING FLEXIBILITY FOR LARGE-SCALE PROJECTS:
“How do you strike the balance between moving quickly and moving deliberately to advance large-scale coastal restoration and protection projects?”
Bren Haase, Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Activities; Chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board:
“In Louisiana where we’ve experienced natural disasters, just like other parts of the country, there’s a tremendous need to respond to those and protect our citizens from storm surges, flooding, and restore our ecosystem … There is a calculus that has to be gone through essentially to evaluate the risk of delaying those kinds of projects and having citizens remain at risk into the future or going ahead and in some cases … agreeing to terms that we may not want to agree to get projects done.”
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s questions for the witnesses.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s opening statement.