Year-End Update on the Corps of Engineers & Congress

Here’s your end of 2021 summary of congressional actions affecting the Corps of Engineers brought to you by WaterLog, the free e-newsletter that brings subscribers a monthly update on developments affecting the nation’s coastal water resources.  If you aren’t already a subscriber, just click here.   Infrastructure Congress finally passed a major infrastructure bill.  Known…

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WaterLog Update (9/30): Congress to vote on Additional “Disaster” Funding for the Corps today

In the Continuing Resolution pending before the Senate and House today, there is additional funding for the Corps as follows: Investigations: For the initiation and/or completion of flood and storm damage reduction, including shore protection, studies that are currently authorized or that are authorized in the future, to reduce risk from future floods and hurricanes:…

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Coastal Highlights from House Homeland Security and House Commerce, Justice and Science Bills

Homeland Security For those not aware, FEMA actually falls into the Department of Homeland Security and is totally separate from the Corps of Engineers. This comes into play specifically with disaster declarations, where special rules take effect that allow FEMA to bypass certain federal restrictions when life, property and safety are at risk where the…

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Coastal Highlights from House THUD Bill

Below are excerpts from the Committee Report on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies bill:   Resiliency for coastal roads and highways.—Coastal roads and highways, which are the lifelines of many communities, are facing major challenges from the effects of climate change, particularly sea level rise and coastal erosion. As DOT makes…

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The Return of Earmarks

Well-placed Hill sources tell us that the chairs of the House and Senate appropriations committees are developing a plan to bring back congressional earmarks next year.  This directed funding, which amounted to about 1% of total federal spending, was eliminated by Congress in the wake of revelations that some interests had made political contributions in…

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House Releases WRDA20 Text & E&W Approps

There is action on our two favorite bills: Energy & Water Appropriations and WRDA. We hope you are beating the heat somehow, safely. It’s summer and we’ve broken 90°F every day since July 2nd. Stay cool… WRDA The House has released its version of WRDA20 along with a section by section version. Reminder the Senate…

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Merry Impeachmas

In this issue: Merry Impeachmas Update on Federal Funding Congress Eyes Resilience New Bill Could Slash State’s Input on Clean Water Act NFIP: Risk Rating 2.0 Delayed Miscellaneous Use the PDF embedder below to view WaterLog:

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Corps Funding Bill Set for Action

In this issue: Corps Funding Bill Set for Action NOAA, that is Embarassing! Trump’s Decision to Transfer FEMA Funding to Immigrant Detention Centers Storms are Costing Us More than Ever Corporate Responsibility in Action Micro Plastics, Macro Concerns California’s Delegation Making Waves Over Beach Projects NFIP Expiration New Federal Bills Use the PDF embedder below…

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Good Luck Gettin’ Dunes

In this issue: Good Luck Gettin’ Dunes EPA Announces Federal Partnership to Build Nationwide Resilience to Natural Disasters NFWF Emergency Coastal Resilience Grant Fund & Coastal Resilience Evaluation and Siting Tool  Surfrider Foundation Beach Water Quality Portals I’d Buy Greenland, Too. Appropriations Use the PDF embedder below to view WaterLog.

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Thought you were getting dunes? Think again. Tragedy in Encinitas, Highway Bill with Climate Provisions Heads Out of Committee, Watch Out for Flying Umbrellas

Hurricane Season NOAA updated its hurricane outlook on August 8th, increasing the likelihood of an above-average storm season. Source: NOAA Stay up to date at the National Hurricane Center www.nhc.noaa.gov and with Accuweather’s RealImpact tool. Is Your Beach Getting Dunes? Maybe Not Anymore. A strong decision came from Corps HQ last week to not allow…

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Meet Your New HQ Chief of Planning, Resilient Highway Bill, E&W Spending, NFIP and FWS Assistant Secretary Re-Nominated

Hurricane Season Stay up to date at the National Hurricane Center www.nhc.noaa.gov and with Accuweather’s RealImpact tool. NEW!! Sediment Management Workgroup on LinkedIn We know how important sediment is to the coast and to you and your job. That’s why we started the Sediment Management Workgroup on LinkedIn. Please join the conversation! The SMW is…

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WRDA & Resilient Transportation on Capitol Hill, Tropics are Heating Up, NJ Coastal Resilience Center Announced, You Don’t Have Dunes Yet?

Hurricane Season is Really Here It took since May 20th, before Hurricane season started, to get our first named storm of the official hurricane season. Tropical Storm Barry was upgraded to hurricane status as it made landfall, leaving parts of Louisiana under a foot of water and more than 150,000 residents without power. While the…

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Disaster Supplemental Signed Into Law

Supplemental The FY19 Disaster Supplemental has been signed into law. Click here for the bill. An important distinction in the language is whether or not the funds in each section pertain to natural disasters, or the named storm events. The $19.2 billion dollar bill provides a total of $3.3 billion to the Corps of Engineers…

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China to the White House – “Stop the Tariffs or We’ll Stop Buying Your Debt”, Disaster Supplemental, Energy & Water

China to the White House – “Stop the Tariffs or We’ll Stop Buying Your Debt” That’s one way to stop this never-ending commitment to post-disaster spending. Congress has finalized its negotiations for the 2019 Disaster Supplemental bill, H.R. 2157. Trump says he supports it. The $19.2 billion dollar bill provides a total of $3.3 billion…

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It’s Appropriation Season!!!

Here’s what to look for when Congress acts on Corps FY20 Appropriations:  We expect the House Subcommittee on Energy & Water Development Appropriations to meet later this month to come up with the House version of the Corps’ budget for the next fiscal year.  The President proposed an average 31% reduction across all business lines…

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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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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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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 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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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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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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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

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 maps are what FEMA officials currently use to rank the likelihood of a household flooding. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi from Illinois issued the following…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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