Flooding and hurricane protection projects pass through the House

June 08, 2018 - 7:00 pm

(WWL.com) - US Congressman Garret Graves says they’re one step closer to a massive reform of the way the feds handle flooding and hurricane protection projects. The 2018 Water Resources and Development Act would allow local governments to take over funds for the execution of protection projects from the Corps of Engineers.

Graves says this could reduce the 100-billion dollar backlog of protection projects.

“We can actually realize the benefit of hurricane protection projects, a flood control project, and coastal restoration projects that have been literally sitting on the book not for months or years but for decades.”
 
Graves says local governments might be better equipped to tackle many of the decades old flood control projects than the large, and at times unwieldy Corps of Engineers.

“The Corps of Engineers is the only entity that’s allowed to move forward on these projects. So they have a monopoly, they don’t have an incentive to be efficient.”

Graves is also considering moving the Corps of Engineers out of the Department of Defense.

Flood control and protection projects can take years to get approval, between environment surveys and federal approval. Graves says passing this bill would speed up construction of some desperately needed hurricane protection and coastal restoration plans.

“The Comite project in the capital region, projects in coastal Louisiana, the Morganza project in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, and you nearly an $800 million project in the river region.”

The bill passed the House with overwhelming support, and now needs Senate approval.

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