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’ proposed budget for fiscal year 2024 and implementation of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022.
ON CORPS INVESTMENTS IN DELAWARE:
“The Corps has certainly been a vital partner in many parts of our economy in Delaware. In addition to delivering nearly $300 million in essential project funding for Delaware this year alone, the Corps recently approved permits to allow for an expansion of the Port of Wilmington. I’m pleased to share that Delaware is now set to build a new terminal at the Port and bring hundreds of new jobs to our region.”
ON CORPS PROJECTS IN DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES:
“Congress included some critical new authorities in WRDA 2022 to increase assistance to disadvantaged communities. I was pleased to see that the budget focuses on environmental justice, and that the Corps has issued guidance WRDA 2020 and for WRDA 2022 authorities to support the disadvantaged communities. Will you take a minute or two to explain for us the significance of this recent guidance, and how you plan to prioritize more resources benefitting vulnerable communities?”
Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works:
“These authorities are incredibly important and allow us to do good work on a broader scale than we would otherwise be able to do … We are moving out guidance, economically disadvantaged community definition, so that we can use that to implement the programs that Congress has already provided funding for. This is the pilot program to do investigations for economically disadvantaged communities, we’ve got $30 million in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law waiting to be released after we finalize that guidance…”
ON PRIORITIZING CLIMATE RESILIENCY IN CORPS PROJECTS:
“The federal government needs to plan for the climate realities we face and will continue to face as a nation. These realities range from droughts in the West, to sea level rise in the Gulf Coast, to floods from snowpack melt in the Midwest and beyond. As a key partner for states and communities in addressing the impacts of climate change, the Corps must plan for these realities.
“Throughout the past 30 years, much of the Corps’ funding has been provided in response to disasters, not in preparation for them. Not only do we need to proactively address the root causes of climate change—we need to also proactively make our infrastructure more resilient to these climate-fueled extreme weather.”
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s first round of questions.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s second round of questions.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s opening statement.