WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The President's Budget for fiscal year 2017 (FY 2017) includes $4.620 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).
"The 2017 Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the Administration's priorities to support and improve the Nation's economy, protect the American people, and restore our environment," said the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. "This Budget supports the core mission areas of coastal and inland navigation, reducing flood and storm risks, and restoring aquatic ecosystems.
"The Budget enables the Corps to responsibly carry out its important missions, while advancing key Administration initiatives to increase renewable energy production, reduce greenhouse gas impacts, combat invasive species, and increase community resilience in the wake of natural disasters," said Darcy. "The Budget continues to reflect the tough choices necessary to put the country on a fiscally sustainable path."
New federal funding in the Civil Works budget consists of $3.59 billion from the general fund, $951 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, $45 million from Special Recreation User Fees, and $34 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
The FY 2017 funding will be distributed among the appropriations accounts as follows:
- $2.705 billion for Operation and Maintenance
- $1.09 billion for Construction
- $222 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries
- $200 million for the Regulatory Program
- $180 million for Expenses
- $103 million for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP)
- $85 million for Investigations
- $30 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies
- $5 million for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
The FY 2017 Civil Works program is also provided approximately $845 million in funding from additional sources not included in the Budget, bringing the FY 2017 total program funding to $5.465 billion.
The FY 2017 Budget includes $1.934 billion for the study, design, construction, operation and maintenance of inland and coastal navigation projects. It funds capital investments on the inland waterways based on the estimated revenues to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The Budget gives priority to coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic. It also funds harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence, or public transportation benefits.
The FY 2017 Investigations program as a whole is funded at $92 million, including $7 million from the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) account, to fund studies to determine the need, engineering feasibility, and economic, environmental and social return of potential solutions for water and related land resource problems. This includes $6.7 million for work on proposals to deepen and/or widen ten high and moderate commercial use U.S. harbors and channels: Houston Ship Channel, TX; Manatee Harbor, FL; Matagorda Ship Channel, TX; Mississippi River Ship Channel, Gulf to Baton Rouge, LA; Mobile Harbor, AL; New Haven Harbor, CT; Norfolk Harbor, VA; Port of Long Beach, CA; San Juan, PR; Seattle Harbor, WA; and Unalaska (Dutch) Harbor, AK.
The Budget also funds completion of 12 studies and designs, one of which is in the Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) phase. These studies comprise four ecosystem restoration studies, four navigation studies, and four flood risk management studies. These study completions include Adams and Denver Counties, CO; Boise River, Boise, ID; Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Lock, LA (GRR); Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration – Mississippi River Hydrodynamic Modeling and Delta Management Study; Minnesota River Watershed Study, MN & SD (Minnesota River Authority); Mississippi River Ship Channel, Gulf to Baton Rouge, LA (GRR); Norfolk Harbor and Channels, VA (55-Foot) (GRR); Rahway River Basin (Upper Basin), NJ; Red River of the North Basin, ND, MN, SD & Manitoba, Canada; Seattle Harbor, WA; South San Francisco Bay Shoreline, CA (PED); and Sparks Arroyo Colonia, El Paso County, TX.
There are no new study starts included in the FY 2017 Investigations program.
The Investigations account also includes $26 million for Corps' efforts, in conjunction with state floodplain management authorities, to provide technical and planning assistance to enable local communities to reduce their flood risk, including non-structural approaches. The Budget continues to invest in the development of interagency teams known as Silver Jackets to provide unified federal assistance in implementing flood risk management solutions.
The FY 2017 Construction program is funded at $1.154 billion, including $64 million in the MR&T account. The construction program uses objective, performance-based guidelines to allocate funding toward the highest performing economic, environmental, and public safety investments.
The Budget funds 33 construction projects, consisting of seven dam safety assurance, seepage control, and static instability correction projects; six projects funded to address a significant risk to human safety (includes one completion); five additional project completions; one new construction project; and 14 other continuing projects.
By program area, the 33 funded construction projects consist of 17 flood risk management projects (two funded for completion), nine aquatic ecosystem restoration projects, six commercial navigation projects (three funded for completion), and one hydropower project (funded for completion).
The FY 2017 Budget includes $239 million for safety modifications on seven dam safety, seepage control and static instability correction projects and $3.3 million for interim risk reduction measures for dams with a significant risk.
Among the ongoing construction projects in the FY 2017 Budget, the ten highest funded projects are: Olmsted Locks and Dam, IL & KY ($225 million); the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (Everglades), FL ($106 million); Columbia River Fish Mitigation, WA, OR & ID (CRFM) ($84 million); Isabella Lake, CA (Dam Safety) ($70.5 million); Lower Mississippi River Mainstem (MR&T) ($64.3 million); Poplar Island, MD ($62.3 million); East Branch Clarion River Lake, PA ($56.3 million); Herbert Hoover Dike, FL, seepage control ($49.5 million); Savannah Harbor Expansion, GA ($42.7 million); and Center Hill Lake, TN ($40 million).
The six construction projects funded for completion in the FY 2017 Budget are: American River Watershed (Folsom Dam Modifications), CA; Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Bridge Replacement at Deep Creek, Chesapeake, VA; Delaware River Deepening, NJ, PA, & DE; Oakland Harbor (50-Foot Project), CA; Richard B Russell Dam and Lake, GA & SC; and Topeka, KS.
The FY 2017 construction program includes one high-priority new construction start, Mud Mountain Dam, WA, an Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration project in response to a Biological Opinion for endangered salmon.
The FY 2017 O&M program is funded at $2.856 billion, including $151 million in the MR&T account. For O&M, the Budget emphasizes performance of existing projects by focusing on those coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic, as well as safety improvements at federal dams and levees based on the risk and consequence of a failure. The
Budget also funds maintenance work at harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence, or public transportation benefits.
The FY 2017 O&M program also funds the completion of 28 master plans and water reallocation studies at Corps projects.
Collaborating with federal, non-federal, state and local partners, the Corps completed the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (Comprehensive Study) in 2015, a report that developed a universal Coastal Storm Risk Management Framework that identified a set of structural, non-structural natural, nature-based, and programmatic measures to manage flood risk and promote resilience for approximately 31,000 miles of coastline, from New Hampshire to Virginia. The FY 2017 Budget will fund work for six of the nine Focus Areas identified in the Comprehensive Study. They are New York-New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries, NY and NJ; New Jersey Back Bays, NJ; City of Norfolk, VA; Nassau County Back Bays, NY; Delaware Inland Bays and Delaware Bay Coast, DE; and the District of Columbia, DC. These areas were selected based on the readiness of the local sponsors to cost-share further investigations work.
The FY 2017 aquatic ecosystem restoration program is funded at $375 million with $336 million from Construction, $20 million from O&M and $19 million from Investigations.
This program supports restoring aquatic habitat to a less degraded, more natural condition in ecosystems where ecosystem structure, function, and processes have been degraded. Priority aquatic ecosystems supported by the Budget include the California Bay-Delta, the Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf Coast. Other ecosystem efforts include the Columbia River and priority work in the Upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
The Corps will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management to protect and restore these ecosystems.
The FY 2017 Budget funds Recreation at $267 million, with approximately $255 million in the O&M account and $12 million in the MR&T account. The Corps is the nation's largest provider of federal recreation opportunities, with 370 million visits to Corps' lands and waters per year.
The FY 2017 Regulatory Program is funded at $200 million and will improve the protection of the nation's waters and wetlands, while providing greater efficiency in permit processing.
The FY 2017 FUSRAP program is funded at $103 million to continue remediation activities at 20 sites contaminated by the Nation's early efforts to develop atomic weapons.
Based on the Corps' contribution to the response and recovery of communities after natural disasters strike, and the inevitability that there will be more, Emergency Management is funded at $35 million in FY 2017, with $30 million in the FCCE account for preparedness and training to respond to floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and $5 million in the O&M account.
The FY 2017 Civil Works budget press book will be available on the Web at 1:30 p.m. eastern, February 9, at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books.
SOURCE U.S. Army Corps of Engineers