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 Grant Total $6,733,896,840   Click Here for our table of beach…

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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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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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WRDA Signed into Law, Work Plan

The Water Resources Development Act has been signed into law. If you missed our briefing on the important topics in WRDA, please see it on our website. Remember, due to Senator McConnell’s final amendments, the bill will not go into effect until 5 days from now, October 28th, 2018. The Corps’ Work Plan has supposedly made…

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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 Passes Senate, Hurricane Michael

WRDA has passed the Senate by unanimous consent – Well, 99-1.. We’ll be putting together a briefing for you of what you need to know. If you have specific requests, please let us know what you are interested in. Meanwhile, Hurricane Michael has made landfall in the Florida panhandle – This storm is going to…

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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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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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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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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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A Late August Update

WaterLog is being updated! We’re crafting a new look and feel. We’ll be doing some reorganizing, please let us know what you’d like to see most and what you find most useful! If you encounter any problems report them here. Senator Bill Nelson has called upon Senate leadership to bring WRDA to the floor as…

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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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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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Continuous Update – WRDA

The Senate is scheduled to vote on its WRDA bill (HR 8) later this week or next.  It’s been delayed by other matters by at least two weeks already, so we won’t be surprised if there are further delays.  The House has already passed its version of HR 8.  When the Senate completes action, the…

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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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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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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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Beach Projects in the Corps FY18 Work Plan

This year’s Work Plan is out (about 3 weeks late) and there is much to discuss. Click Here to view a concise spreadsheet of Federal Shore Protection Funding.   For the folks in New Jersey, the Back Bays study, which investigates how back bays can be used to prevent the harmful effects of shoreline erosion…

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Good News but Not the News Most of You Are Waiting For

Let’s start with the Good News! The House will act on its WRDA bill next week.  The time for filing amendments has passed, although we don’t yet know which will be allowed.  HR 8 is the bill number WAIT, THERE’S MORE.  Because you’ve been so patient, we also expect that the House will act on…

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Non-Update with an Update and More to Come

As we send this message, it’s after Midnight ET and the FY18 Corps Work Plan has not been posted.  Our sources reported Tuesday afternoon that it was being worked on with plans to go well into the evening at the Assistant Secretary’s office.  We think they were having a tussle with the folks at the…

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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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WRDA moves in the House!

Expect the Draft House Water Resources Development Act (whatever it’s name may be) to be introduced tomorrow, Friday the 18th with action by the full committee next Wednesday. We hope you watched ASA R.D. James WRDA testimony today before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  It was enlightening for what he said about his…

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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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Lost and Found

The House Energy & Water Appropriations Committee meets at 5:30 pm ET today to act on its version of the Corps’ funding bill for FY19.  You can find the text of the draft bill and watch the “markup” meeting here. Note:  I taught government at the high school and undergrad college levels before I came…

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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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Lots to Celebrate!

A month ago, I bemoaned March as the month of now Federal holidays.  But at its very end, it gave us Passover and the start of the baseball season.  Then came Easter as we embarked on April and out came some flowers, still not any more sure than humans whether Spring had arrived here in…

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Early March Update

The Northeast has been hit by the third major Nor’easter storm this winter as March does its best to remind the East Coast that winter isn’t finished with us. Meteorologists are calling DC a “weather hole.”  We’ve been called worse, but this honor is being bestowed because it has snowed to the south and north…

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March 2018

Welcome to March, the month without a Federal holiday, but the month that baseball gets started with Spring Training!!  Hold onto your seats, and not just if your along those parts of the East Coast being battered by strong winds and precipitation caused by a nor’easter.  We’ve got a lot to cover today.   Infrastructure: …

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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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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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Pre-State of the Union & Super Bowl

Tonight’s State of the Union Address:  For those of you plan to view the “SOTU” this evening, here’s what to be on the lookout for via Politico. Infrastructure Initiative: I tweeted the leaked Trump infrastructure plan last week and posted it on WaterLog.  Much of the Federal money in the plan are focused in an…

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Early December 2017

Happy December and a warm welcome to our many new WaterLog subscribers!!  Here’s the latest from your Nation’s Capital. With Senate passage of the tax bill, that chamber’s version will have to be reconciled with a somewhat different tax bill previously passed by the House.  I mention this issue for two reasons.,  First, the future…

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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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Early November 2017 Update

* New ASA(CW) The Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing last week on the nomination of R.D. James to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.  Here’s a summary put together by my colleague, Zack Moody – Sen. Blount (R-MO) introduced James and vouched for him as a civil engineer, farmer, and…

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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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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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Late September 2017 Update

Many thanks for subscribing to WaterLog.  Unfortunately, the Google FeedBurner system will not let us include you as a subscriber until you respond to the email the system sent to you when you subscribed and VERIFY your email subscription.  I am sending you this email update as well as this link to my latest Blog. …

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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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