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Welcome to all the new subscribers to WaterLog. To new and existing subscribers, I hope you have had a chance to look at the new website. It’s better organized than our earlier site! If you see anything that needs fixing or have a suggestion of a resource, website or document that we can add, please send it along. If you didn’t receive my blog post for this week via an automated email, please let me know.
This is the first periodic update to WaterLog subscribers I’ve done in a while. The massive hurricane damages from Texas to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have come close to overwhelming the nation’s ability to respond promptly and adequately. I expect that we will see another Supplemental Appropriations Bill in October. Hopefully it will include funding for the Corps’ emergency response program. I’ve posted a Special WaterLog Alert about that program. It’s a program that badly needs to be updated, but it also faces forces within the upper echelons of the Corps (including ASA/OMB) that are simply trying to reduce the amount of 100% federal funds that are used to repair beach nourishment projects. The Emergency folks at Corps HQ don’t seem to have the same knife out for inland flood control repairs. I’ve also done a memo on a legislative fix that’s needed for beach nourishment projects that I sent only to a small group of folks on Capitol Hill. But you can get a copy by clicking here.
- As you know, the Administration has proposed a tax reform measure. It’s worth noting that the Wall Street Journal reported that among what it called the “losers” would be “people with large medical or disaster deductions.”
- Flood insurance: The national program was extended to December 8th.
- Funding for all Federal agencies: At current levels through December 8th.
- What’s likely to happen on December 9th?: My guess is either another short-term can-kicking exercise or (worse) one that goes into sometime next year. I just don’t see Congress actually deciding on funding or flood insurance issues by December 8th. However, there’s some hope they can do that before they recess for the holidays.
We track federal legislation affecting coastal communities on our WaterLog website, including a proposal (S. 1798) to establish by law a Federal standard for flood risk resilience. You’ll also find bills on weather research and forecasting (HR 353). The Disaster Declaration Improvement Act (HR 1665), Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HR 1908), Harmful Algal Blooms (S 1057), and much more. Just click here to bring up the list. Also, WaterLog has tips on the congressional process and how you can effectively express your views on proposed legislation.
Finally, for your weekend reading pleasure, I recommend this story on What Happens When a SuperStorm Hits D.C?