House Tries Again with Disaster Supplemental + What is a Sand Motor?

If you are new to WaterLog, you can subscribe here. Today Nita Lowey, Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced a new supplemental disaster appropriations bill: The previous version, HR 268, stalled in the Senate over complications with funding Puerto Rico and other issues. The new bill, HR 2157, does support Puerto Rico, but it…

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Congress prepares to face President’s Budget, Corps Overload, Scarce $$$ for coastal

Thanks for checking in today – Stay tuned for my E&W Testimony which will be reformatted for release on WaterLog, and an informational article ‘Financing Coastal Resilience – The Future is Now’ by Dan Ginolfi, that will be useful to all of you looking to IMPLEMENT!   Congress is Taking the First Step to Deal…

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New WaterLog Podcast – Trump’s Budget Cuts + A Little More

You can find details about the things we talked about today in our latest post on www.waterlog.net. Latest Podcast from WaterLog: Disaster Aid: The Senate will be back in session Monday afternoon trying to settle what has become a bitter partisan dispute over more disaster aid for recent catastrophic weather events.  At the heart of…

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A Better Budget or A Slash to Coastal Programs? NFIP Overhaul & Coastal Risk

A Budget for a Better America…?   Nearly 50% of America lives within 50 miles of the coast. Think about that for a moment. It’s not all about the beach – it’s the whole coast. From the marshes and bays to the rivers and stream and wetlands, people from all across the globe visit our…

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Infrastructure, Seismic Surveys & Airhorns, Corps of Engineers

NEWS AT COASTAL STRATEGIESInterested in learning about ways to fund coastal projects? Please come see us at our next conference – MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Washington, DC, March 11-13th: We’ll be sponsoring the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association’s Coastal Summit, along with the Coastal Celebration (hosted by the Coastal States Organization and ASBPA) that…

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Remembering Rich Ring, National Emergency & Border Wall + Much More!

WaterLog Update (2/14): Hello! If you have comments, suggestions, or I have missed something, please let me know.  It’s easy to subscribe and it’s free. Just click here, and know that we NEVER share our subscriber information. Remembering Rich Ring This week we lost a great friend and team member, Rich Ring, and we’d like…

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Congress, Corps P3s, Flood Insurance, Grants & Climate Change

This is a reminder that we will be presenting at 5:05PM Thursday at the Florida Shore & Beach Preservation Association’s Conference on Beach Preservation Technology. Please join us! Our Topic is Improving Beach Nourishment Effectiveness While Reducing Costs Through Regional Collaboration We’d like to start today’s article with a quote: “There’s no guarantee, no guarantee…

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WaterLog Podcast Is Live!

Today is the inaugural episode of our WaterLog Podcast. Just like WaterLog, it’s free, and we hope you’ll listen to our insider knowledge to stay informed on how the workings here in Washington, DC affect you, your job, your coastal projects and your community. To listen… https://www.coastalnewstoday.com/podcasts/shutdown-deep-dive We’d like to extend a special thanks to…

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$12 Billion Disaster Bill Passes House, Earmarks?, Congress, New Bills, Climate Change

COUNTDOWNS: Government Shutdown (-28 days) Today, we need your feedback. We recently posted a blog, “It’s Time to Bring Back Earmarks.” Some say yes, some say no, some say ‘just for the Corps.’ We need to know what YOU think. Historically, earmarks are an important part of the appropriations process, but often get a bad…

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Trump’s Wall vs Water Resources, New NFIP Bill, New Carbon Tax Bill

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (143 days) Government Shutdown (-18 days) Congress Will the President take money and personnel from the Corps to build his wall?   Reports from various sources say that he plans to invoke, or threaten to invoke, a 1976 law that allows him to use extraordinary powers during a declared “national emergency”.  Existing law…

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New in 2019!

Happy New Year! We’re still adding some icing to our cake, www.waterlog.net, but there is a tremendous amount of useful information on the Corps of Engineers, climate change, Congress and the coasts. In addition, in 2019 we will be launching our newest venture, Coastal Strategies, LLC, a firm entirely dedicated to bolstering coastal resilience through…

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Holiday Edition – Last of the Year!

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (51 days) Government Shutdown (51 days) New Congress (15 days) The extension’s extension was correctly predicted, and by Friday a continuing resolution will have been passed extending funding for Federal agencies through February 8th and reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program. Congress, Climate Change, and the Coasts – If you’re climate aware,…

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Govt Shutdown; US Air Quality Might Go Down and More

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (7 days) Government Shutdown (7 days) New Congress (20 days) Congress is racing to the edge of the cliff….again!  No, they won’t all fall off.  Only part of the federal government (not Congress) will shut down a week from today if the President and Congress can’t agree on money for the border…

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NFIP Extended and Government Shutdown Averted for Two Weeks Until Dec. 21st, Green New Deal, Carbon Emissions

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (14 days) Government Shutdown (14 days) New Congress (27 days) The House and Senate have passed HJRES 143 by voice vote, which now awaits the President’s signature. If signed, the National Flood Insurance Program will be extended  until December 21st and the government shutdown set to begin tomorrow will have been averted.…

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NFIP Extension, Earmarks, Seismic Blasting, Sediment Disposal, Asian Carp

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (2 days) Government Shutdown (2 days) New Congress (29 days) The National Flood Insurance Program was extended on November 30th for 7 days until December 7th under HR 7187. A Senate bill, S 3628, which grants an extension until May 31st, 2019, has been passed by the Senate and sent to the…

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NFIP Expires Tomorrow, Congress Speaks Out Against Trump on National Climate Report, Civil Works Shore Protection, FEMA Bonus

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (1 days) Government Shutdown (8 days) The National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization bill S. 3628, was hotlined at 5:30 this evening requesting that the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration, read the bill a third time, and pass it. The NFIP expires tomorrow. Members of Congress have had enough with this Administration’s…

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CYBER MONDAY DEALS, Work Plan Details, Trump Ignores Climate Report, New Coastal Bills

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (4 days) Government Shutdown (11 days)   The Work Plan is OUT!!! Click Here to view it. Here are this year’s totals:   FY2019 Work Plan Totals Investigations $125,000,000 Construction $2,351,396,840 Operation & Maintenance $3,739,500,000 FUSRAP $150,000,000 Mississippi River & Tributaries $368,000,000 Grant Total $6,733,896,840   Click Here for our table of…

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Work Plan is OUT!!! National Coastal Resilience Fund + New Coastal Bills

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (9 days) Government Shutdown (16 days)   The Work Plan is OUT!!! Click Here to view it. Here are this year’s totals: FY2019 Work Plan Totals Investigations $125,000,000 Construction $2,351,396,840 Operation & Maintenance $3,739,500,000 FUSRAP $150,000,000 Mississippi River & Tributaries $368,000,000 Grand Total $6,733,896,840   Click Here for our table of beach…

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Work Plan Delayed, NFIP Extension, USFWS Nominee, Christmas Trees and Flooding/Hurricanes, New Coastal Bills

COUNTDOWNS: NFIP Expiration (10 days) Government Shutdown (17 days) No Work Plan yet, and it hasn’t made its first stop to the House and Senate appropriations committees. Today remains a maybe, but with the Holiday coming up it is possible that we won’t see it until next week. We will report out as soon as…

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WaterLog Update (11/13): Corps Deferred Maintenance, Recovery from Michael, Mount St. Helens, Zillow?, Pacific Islands, Ike Dike

COUNTDOWNS: USACE Work Plan (6 Days) NFIP Expiration (16 days) Government Shutdown (23 Days)  (As of 11/14/18 at 6:00PM) The Government Accountability Office said in a report last Wednesday that the Corps currently lacks indicators of deferred maintenance, which prevents it from executing project maintenance on schedule. The study was called for by ‘persistent schedule…

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Democrats take the House – Water Resources Outlook, Managed Retreat & Ocean Heat

  Democrats have taken control of the House, ending the GOP’s 8-year reign. So what does that mean for Water Resources? One thing is infrastructure. Trump wants infrastructure, so do Democrats – Nancy Pelosi, the likely Speaker of the House in the next Congress, spoke about how a wave of infrastructure, supporting the economy by…

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30 Days-NFIP Expiration, Cat 4’s, Ike Dike, Work Plan

The National Flood Insurance Program will expire in 1 month – On November 30th, 2018 the NFIP will expire. That is, unless Congress can put together another extension – We don’t see reforms coming, though we know what they should be. Some alarming trends have developed in the past decade. Congressman DeFazio introduced a bill…

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WRDA18 – What you NEED to know, plus some more

Today’s issue is a briefing of the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA18). The main topics discussed are provisions related to transparency, dredging, non-Federal interests, disaster and nature & environment. There is an extraordinary number of provisions that were drafted as a ‘sense of Congress’ in earlier versions of the House and Senate bills. These…

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WRDA & DRRA, Corps CRS Reports, SLR And Climate Change

There is a bit going on here in today’s update – Brett Kavanaugh cleared the senate, making way for WRDA. The DRRA was signed into law. Trump’s building and rebuilding, but not rebuilding ‘smart.’ DOI personnel appear to be screening keywords that highlight human effects on climate change. The Corps’ NJ Back Bays discussion still…

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Minibus #1 – Work Plan, Florence Supplemental, WRDA

Congress- The first minibus, HR 5895, was signed by the President on Friday. Start the clock – A Corps of Engineers Work Plan is due by November 20th. The bill includes FY19 appropriations for energy and water, the legislative branch, military construction and veterans affairs. The $147 billion spending package allocates $6.9985 billion for the…

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Pre-Disaster Mitigation, Anniversary of Maria, Florence Flooding, Outlook for next week

FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program is now seeking applicants, apply now! Eligible applicants are States, U.S. Territories, Federally-recognized tribes, and local governments. Local governments are eligible Subapplicants and can sponsor applications on behalf of homeowners to submit to the Applicant. The program is  designed to assist States, U.S. Territories, Federally-recognized tribes, and local communities in…

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Flood Insurance, Saffir-Simpson Scale, Ocean Trash

Hello!   Thank you for subscribing to WaterLog! Please contact me if you have questions, comments or if I have missed something.   FEMA has failed to incorporate climate change impacts into their Risk MAP program, flood maps, and other disaster planning systems. While continuously criticized for having outdated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), the…

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Erosion from Florence

Myrtle Beach survived the storm with little damage – foliage and other natural debris is spread throughout the roads but most will be cleared quickly. Myrtle Beach is currently getting their beaches buffed up by renourishment by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, but the project was paused during Florence. After the storm, damage is…

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Florence & Mangkhut, Earmarks, Provisions in WRDA, Coastal Planning for Military Operations

Florence has dissipated but wet weather remains throughout the area as the storm’s bands move into the Northeast. Flooding continues in the Carolina’s. Florence was not the only storm endangering US territory – Typhoon Mangkhut, 2018’s strongest storm on record, slammed into Guam and the Philippines on September 15th at peak strength with sustained winds…

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Staying on Top of Florence & Coastal Concerns

Hello! We’re tracking Florence – Due to the size and slow tracking speed,  the most vulnerable regions, like New Bern, North Carolina, are experiencing a life-threatening 11-foot surge with hundreds needing rescue. As of 12 noon, the Category 1 storm is tracking slowly WSW at 3 mph with a maximum sustained wind speed of 80…

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WRDA Passes House, Preparing for Florence, More on Energy & Water

The Water Resources Development Act has passed the House by unanimous vote. It is still unclear where it is in the Senate but it could be next week. Click here to view the version the House voted on.    Preparing for Florence – Now downgraded to a Category 2, Florence is still a dangerous storm. It…

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Energy and Water – What You Need to Know, Florence

Hello! Our investigative pigeon on Capitol Hill tells us that WRDA will be on the floor this week, likely Thursday, and maybe minibus #1. Officials are racing to beat the storm. Storm or no storm, we are satisfied with the progress Congress has made with this year’s key appropriations bills. According to Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen,…

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HURRICANE ALERT, E&W/DOI Appropriations, WRDA

Hello! EAST COAST – SOUTH CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA, VIRGINIA – Prepare for Florence. Conditions are expected to be life threatening as Florence makes landfall as a major hurricane sometime between Thursday and Friday morning. The storm is currently a Category 3 tracking WNW at 13mph with a maximum sustained wind speed of 115 mph. As…

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Waves, Hurricanes, WRDA, Algal Blooms, Puerto Rico, Beach Safety & More!

Hello! It’s September! As I predicted, the Atlantic is lighting up. Tropical Storm Gordon and Hurricane Florence are out doing their thing. While TS Gordon is tracking up into Louisiana through Mississippi, Florence will be staying out to sea and sending swell to the Caribbean and the East Coast over the next week. By the…

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Last Wednesday of August 2018 Update

What’s the word on WRDA? Not this week. Staff from both chambers are pre-conferencing so that the bill may move more rapidly when the Senate finds floor time to pass its version post labor day. Water Resources Appropriations – The appropriations minibus HR 5895 must be conferenced through final passage before the end of September…

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Quiet Atlantic, Lights on in PR, Lake O, OCS Grant, NFIP

The Atlantic Storm Season has remained quiet, and scientists think that will continue to be true. NOAA forecasters have lowered the Atlantic hurricane season prediction. Keep in mind, it wasn’t until late August last year that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria formed and caused the devastating damages that contributed to the most costly hurricane season…

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Disaster Spending, Mitigation, *Bonus* Home Buyer Flood-Risk Tool

As the Atlantic storm season remains quiet (click here for the Pacific outlook), we want to bring up some important state disaster related policy and information. The Pew Trusts released a report on state spending during disasters. In that report is a discussion of how states can provide useful information on disaster and mitigation response…

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NFIP Extended on July 31st

The National Flood Insurance Program was extended via S 1182 until November 30th, 2018. This will require further action from Congress in middle of midterm elections to find another legislative vehicle for another extension. This time, an amendment that contained language for the extension was substituted into the original HR 2519 – The American Legion…

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What happens if the NFIP lapses tomorrow?

The National Flood Insurance Program will lapse tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31st. But what actually happens if the program expires? Currently, the program provides over 5 million policies totaling roughly $1.28 trillion in coverage, and there is no ‘sunset provision’ involved if the program lapses. The NFIP has been extended more than 25 times since 2008,…

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Water Policy Buffet – Have What You Like!

Today, Members of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation participated in a roundtable discussion on a recently released report ‘Impact of the U.S. Jones Act on Puerto Rico.’  The report provides data-based comparative analyses of the real impacts of the Jones Act that have not been reported before. The findings demonstrate that the…

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WRDA, E&W minibus report, Endangered species and Sediment sources

A new CRS report on the FY19 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act is out, highlighting another one of the president’s budget cuts – the Corps of Engineers. We know this number is low-balled by the Administration and will be bumped back up by Congress, but it’s still a shame that the Man with the…

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Flood Insurance Extension, Great Lakes, Algal Blooms

Senator Cassidy (R-LA) has included a NFIP extension provision into the minibus appropriations act HR 5895 (Note: the bill text has not been updated since June 25th). This is the second effort to grant an extension to the NFIP since the topic appeared in the Farm Bill HR 2. The extension will provide 6-months coverage…

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New Website and Recent Additions

You may have noticed we’re moving locations from our old site, www.aldenst.com/waterlog, to our new site www.waterlog.net . Please help us by letting us know if you encounter any broken links, content errors or have any general feedback. Thanks! There are two new additions to the our site: A ‘Legislator Lookup’ widget, courtesy of GovPredict,…

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Great Lakes, Reauthorization of NFIP, Reinsurance & Private Sector

A new bill, HR 6300, gives the Obama Administration Executive Order 13547 the full power of law. Executive Order 13547 – Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes adopts the recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force and implement them under the guidance of the National Ocean Council. The recommendations provided by…

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Appropriations – Army Corps Civil Works Program

The Senate has passed HR 5895 – Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2019 As you can see from the title, this is a bundled appropriations bill – called a ‘minibus’ – that together account for three of the 12 appropriations Acts Congress is supposed to pass before…

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Analysis of House & Senate Water Resource Bills 18

Two Water Resource bills are working their way through Congress, the House’s version H.R.8 (Water Resources Development Act of 2018) and the Senate’s S.2800 (America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018). These are abbreviated WRDA18 and AWIA18, respectively. Both bills were introduced and marked up in committee during the week of May 28th. Before we discuss…

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Breathe Easy This Weekend – Santa Claus is Coming on Monday

Hurricane Season:  June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season with a bunch of named storms predicted this year.  Until Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, it was fairly accurate to say that the U.S. is good at responding to disasters.  Not that responses to Katrina and Ike were faultless by any means, but we…

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This is bigger than ‘THE Wedding’

Ok—that was an overstatement. I liked Bishop Curry’s preaching and Meghan’s dress.  But this IS a big week for water resources in DC. Work Plan:  It should come out tomorrow (Tuesday).  Check here for the list of projects receiving Corps funding in FY18. Supplemental Funds:  The first recipients of the massive amount of supplemental funding…

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House WRDA Bill is Born! Plus some new funding info

WRDA The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman, Bill Shuster (PA), has introduced a WRDA 2018 (props for having no silly name).  It’s text can be found here:  HR 8 Among the provisions that may be of interest to WaterLog subscribers are these:  A produce that would automatically appropriate all Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund revenues…

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House Approps Committee to Show Strong Support for Corps Coastal Program

Please read this if you follow the Corps’ Budget for Coastal Risk Management Projects and Studies While we wait a few more days before we get the Corps issues a Work Plan for FY18, the House Appropriations Committee will act Wednesday morning (watch here), on its recommendations for the Corps budget for FY19. Click here…

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The scoop on America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018

A Senate committee will be holding its second hearing on a key water resources bill on May 17th.  Assistant Secretary of the Army, R.D. James will be providing the Administration’s views about the bill.  You can watch the hearing here.  My colleague Dan Ginolfi has prepared this analysis of some of the bill’s key provisions.…

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Water Resources bill gets ready to move

Lots of May water resources activity in Congress! The Water Resources Development Act of 2018 is about to get legislative legs.  This is the legislation that authorizes (but doesn’t provide funding for) new Corps projects and studies and also will likely contain new policy initiatives. Senate WRDA:  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has…

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House Starts Action on Corps FY19 Budget

While we (patiently?) wait for the Corps to release its FY18 Work Plan, a House Appropriations subcommittee has announced that it will vote on a Corps budget for FY19 on May 7th  4. You can get more information, including a link to watch the “markup” or business meeting here:   https://appropriations.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=395272 Our sources tell us the…

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Is it streamlining or sabotage? Wither WRDA18? Plus a Grant Opportunity

One Federal Decision:  The White House has announced that it has come up with a way to shorten the time it takes for environmental permit reviews.  Saying “No longer will we allow the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble and decay,” the President is quoted as declaring, “While protecting the environment, we will build…

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Update on the Corps Budget & Trump Infrastructure Plan

Corps FY19 Budget:  In this update, here’s the link to the President’s Corps earmarks for FY19.  As you probably know, each Corps study, project and (most) programs are funded by earmarks.  The President can make his; Congress cannot make any of their own.  Here’s the link to the document that provides all the information about…

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Bad Breaking News: President’s Proposed Corps Earmarks Just Released

Another bad year for coastal storm risk management (aka shore protection) as far as President’s budgets go.  The chart below is my listing of everything I could fine in the budget for FY19 released by President Trump moments ago.  There are $0 entries wherever I assumed that a study funded by the President last year…

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Post Govt Shutdown

Have we got news!!  BTW, don’t forget to check out the WaterLog website at www.aldenst.com/waterlog for background info on coastal resilience, the Corps process etc. There are TWO items in this update.  Funds for Corps projects in the budget bill just passed and a link to the Federal Register announcement on applications for the beneficial…

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Pre-February Govt Shutdown Crisis Update

Welcome to our new WaterLog subscribers.  This is an update of the scene here in DC – and it’s not pretty. We’re headed toward another shutdown deadline by Thursday midnight.  The House Republican leadership will propose another short-term solution that won’t make it past Start in the Senate.  There’s some hope the Senate will come…

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Infrastructure, Benefit Cost Ratios & Fresh Face at the Assistant Secretary’s Office

In this Update, we cover Infrastructure, can-kicking, benefit-cost-ratios, and a fresh face at the Assistant Secretary’s office. Plus new grant opportunities. The “I-word” makes its reappearance Now that the tax bill is just a giant step from being finished, the buzz about a major infrastructure initiative is getting new life.  As much as the Nation…

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Thanksgiving Day Update 2017

A House Appropriations Committee panel will hold a hearing on the new disaster resilience Community Development Block Grant (which will actually be a competitive grant) proposed in the latest Administration-requested supplemental we reported on to our subscribers last week.  For new subscribers who didn’t get that update, please email me and I’ll send it to…

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November 2017 Update

The Administration send its third request for a post-disaster supplemental appropriation last Friday.  Congress has already passed $35.8 billion for the hurricanes and flooding events plus $16 billion in debt forgiveness for the NFIP.  This latest request is for $44 billion.  Given the fact that this won’t be the last request for the slew of…

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House passes flood insurance revamp

The House has passed a measure to make several significant changes to the National Flood Insurance program by a vote of 237-189.  Of most immediate importance, it reauthorizes NFIP, whose statutory authorization expires on December 8th.  The Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), has previously called the NFIP “a bankrupt…

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WRDA 18 starts to get legs

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will hold a Nov. 2 hearing focused on Central Takeaways from the Unprecedented 2017 Hurricane Season.  Details have not been posted yet, but check back here in a few days.  You can still listen to the roundtable discussion the committee held on Friday the 27th by clicking here.  This…

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Headed to Miami? + Congressional agency uses the 4-letter phrase

For those of you who are missing the warmth of summer, head to Miami.  The House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee is having an October 27th roundtable discussion on “Concepts for the Next Water Resources Development Act”.  Details, including background and witnesses, can be found here.   Already booked that weekend for a trip to view…

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Latest House Supplemental not going anywhere – Is the Flood Insurance Program Headed for Fossilville?

In a statement on the floor on October 16th, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas noted that the $36.5 billion supplemental appropriations bill that passed the House last week “will not move through the Senate until it meets the needs of Hurricane Harvey victims as defined by the state’s governor.  Apparently the Speaker has assured Gov.…

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Early October 2017 Update

The President has nominated RD James to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.  Here’s my LinkedIn post with info about Mr. James.  BTW, please connect with me on LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6321839869484167168/  There’s a report today in E&E News that Mr. James “owns property affected by one of the most contentious flood-control projects in…

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Early September 2017 Update

Amidst the strange but welcome bipartisanship of the last 36 hours, led by President Trump, the Senate has approved a measure that doubles the initial aid package for Hurricane Harvey to $15.25 billion.  Harvey will require much more Federal aid, and Irma even more.  FYI: The Corps will need a supplemental appropriation to respond with…

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