WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), secured commitment from the Army Corps of Engineers to work with Wyoming on flood prevention during an oversight hearing on their civil works program.

Barrasso questions R.D. James on working with Wyoming on flood prevention:

Click here for video of Chairman Barrasso questioning James on committing to flood prevention in Wyoming.

Chairman Barrasso: “Secretary James, will you pledge to work with my state to do all that you can to get input and to help mitigate this flood risk?”

Secretary James: “Absolutely. I can’t imagine two agencies like the Bureau of Rec and the Army Corps of Engineers not working together on flood risk.

“I discovered that after I got here to this job, that the Bureau of Rec has many reservoirs out West that I wasn’t aware of, and I think it gets a little complicated sometimes. Sometimes the Bureau of Rec is responsible for the flood risk management and sometimes the Corps is, but we need to do all we can do to help protect the people.”

Barrasso on holding the Army Corps accountable on flood prevention in Wyoming:

Click here for video of Barrasso’s commitment to holding Army Corps accountable.

“In closing, I’d like to say that this committee authored and Congress passed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act for a reason.

“We gave the Corps deadlines for a reason.

“I think it’s unfortunate that the April 21st deadline for the submittal of the Snake River flood prevention action plan was not met, and that the report, I believe, is light on new substantive actions to better protect my constituents from flood risk.

“Wyoming has not been adequately consulted by the Corps, as we’ve heard from our director of Homeland Security.

“Had it been, the Corps could have produced a substantive action plan by now.

“Today, Secretary James has pledged to work with us in Wyoming to prove our ability to mitigate our flood risk.

“I think this is an important step forward.

“I promise you that I will hold – the secretary, as well as the Corps of Engineers – their feet to the fire on this important step.”