House Appropriations Committee

Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee

Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request For The Army Corps Of Engineers And Bureau Of Reclamation

2362-B Rayburn
Wed, 29 Mar 2023 14:30:00 GMT

Hearing page

Bureau of Reclamation FY 2024 Budget: $1.4 billion

  • The budget proposal includes a $49 million request for the Lower Colorado River Operations Program, including $16.8 million to build on the work of Reclamation, Colorado River basin partners and stakeholders to implement drought contingency plans. It also includes $2.7 million for the Upper Colorado River Operations Program to support Drought Response Operations and $200.3 million to find long-term, comprehensive water supply solutions for farmers, families, and communities in California. The budget includes $62.9 million for the WaterSMART Program to support Reclamation’s collaboration with non-federal partners in efforts to address emerging water demands and water shortage issues in the West.
  • A request of $57.8 million advances the construction and continues the operations and maintenance of authorized rural water projects. The budget request also provides $35.5 million for the Native American Affairs Program, which provides technical support and assistance to tribal governments to develop and manage their water resources. 
  • The budget includes $210.2 million for the Dam Safety Program to effectively manage risks to the downstream public, of which $182.6 million is for modification actions. Another focus area for infrastructure is $105.3 million requested for extraordinary maintenance activities across Reclamation.
  • These funding amounts are included in the $1.3 billion budget request for Reclamation’s principal operating account (Water and Related Resources), which funds planning, construction, water conservation, efforts to address fish and wildlife habitat needs, and operation, maintenance and rehabilitation activities at Reclamation facilities.
  • Additionally, funding of $33 million is requested to implement the California Bay-Delta Program and address California’s current water supply and ecological challenges, while $48.5 million is for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund to protect, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and associated habitats in California’s Central Valley and Trinity River Basins.
  • The request also provides $66.8 million for Policy and Administration to develop, evaluate, and directly implement Reclamation-wide policy, rules and regulation as well as other administrative functions.

U.S. Army Corps of Civil Engineers Civil Works Budget Justification

U.S. Army Corps of Civil Engineers Civil Works Budget Overview

For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program, the Budget would provide over $7.4 billion in gross discretionary funding that would be distributed among the appropriations accounts as follows:

  • Investigations $129,832,000
  • Construction $2,014,577,000
  • Operation and Maintenance $2,629,913,000
  • Regulatory Program $221,000,000
  • Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) $226,478,000
  • Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program $200,000,000
  • Expenses $212,000,000
  • Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies $40,000,000
  • Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) $7,200,000
  • Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works $6,000,000
  • Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund $1,726,000,000
  • TOTAL $ 7,413,000,000
  • Increase Resilience to Climate Change. The Budget invests in improving the Nation’s water infrastructure, while incorporating climate resilience efforts into the Corps’ commercial navigation, flood and storm damage reduction, and aquatic ecosystem restoration work. The Budget invests in 45 projects and programs that would decrease climate risks facing communities and increase ecosystem resilience to climate change based on the best available science. The Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction program is funded at more than $1.9 billion in the FY 2024 Budget. The Mississippi River and Tributaries program will fund ongoing work in the lower Mississippi River alluvial valley and its tributaries, with emphasis on the 1,600 miles of levees and related features on the main stem of the lower Mississippi River and in the Atchafalaya Basin. The Budget includes funding to continue studies intended to investigate climate resilience along the Great Lakes coast as well as in Central and Southern Florida. The Budget includes $35.5 million for technical and planning assistance programs that will help local communities, including disadvantaged communities, identify and address their flood risks associated with climate change. The Budget provides $64 million for operation and maintenance activities that are focused on improving climate resilience and/or sustainability at existing Corps-owned projects, $51 million to mitigate for adverse impacts from existing Corps-owned projects, and $26 million to install the necessary refueling infrastructure to support zero-emission vehicles at existing Corps-owned projects.
  • Improve the Nation’s Infrastructure. The Budget invests in operating and maintaining the Corps existing infrastructure and improving its reliability. It also includes $665 million for construction of a dam safety project at Prado Dam and $235 million to help complete specifically authorized projects that have experienced cost increases since construction began. The Budget also supports more efficient investment in infrastructure by proposing to transfer ownership from the Corps to parties that are better suited to maintain it, where appropriate. For example, the Budget includes $350 million for replacement of the Cape Cod Canal Bridges and a legislative proposal that would allow the Corps to transfer funds to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to design and construct the Cape Cod Canal replacement bridges. The proposal would transfer ownership of these bridges to the Commonwealth, which would be responsible for their future operation and maintenance. Additionally, the Budget includes $235 million for a “Project Cost Increase Reserve” to help complete the Sault Ste. Marie (Replacement Lock), MI project as reauthorized by Section 8401 (6) of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, which is Division H of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, Public Law 117-81.
  • Facilitate Safe, Reliable and Sustainable Commercial Navigation to Improve the Resilience of our Nation’s Manufacturing Supply Chain to support American Jobs and the Economy. The Budget invests in five projects that facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable navigation at the Nation’s coastal ports and on the inland waterways. The Budget includes $1.726 billion in spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) to support commerce through U.S. coastal ports and over $1 billion to maintain and improve navigation on the inland waterways. These significant investments will facilitate safe, reliable, and environmentally sustainable commercial navigation at our Nation’s coastal ports and inland waterways. Within the HMTF total, the Budget includes $272 million for operation and maintenance of Great Lakes projects, $58 million for projects that support access by Native American tribes to their legally recognized historic fishing areas, $15 million for a construction project that will accommodate disposal of material dredged from coastal navigation projects, and $21.152 million for mitigating for adverse impacts from navigation projects.
  • Support the Administration’s Justice40 Initiative through Investments in Projects that Benefit Disadvantaged Communities by Increasing their Resilience to Climate Change. The Budget invests in 23 studies, and in the construction of 33 projects to help disadvantaged and tribal communities address their water resources challenges in line with the President’s Justice40 Initiative—including funding for the Tribal Partnership Program. In the FY 2024 Budget, the Corps continued its commitment to the overall Federal effort to ensure that 40 percent of the benefits of Federal climate and clean energy investments will directly benefit disadvantaged communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened and Tribal nations. Through the FY 2024 Budget, the Corps is securing environmental justice and spurring economic opportunity for disadvantaged communities that have been historically marginalized and overburdened by pollution and are experiencing underinvestment in essential services. The Corps contributes to this Justice40 Initiative through its studies and projects, and through specific programs, such as the Continuing Authorities Program, Planning Assistance to States, Floodplain Management Services, and the Tribal Partnership Program. The Corps is committed to achieving the broader goals of the Administration regarding equity and environmental justice and will continue to: 1) improve outreach and access to Civil Works information and resources; 2) improve access to Civil Works technical and planning assistance programs (e.g., the Flood Plain Management Services and Planning Assistance to States programs) and maximize the reach of Civil Works projects to benefit the disadvantaged communities, in particular as it relates to climate resiliency; and 3) ensure that any updates to Civil Works policies and guidance will not result in a disproportionate negative impact on disadvantaged communities
  • Restore Aquatic Habitat where the Aquatic Ecosystem Structure, Function and Processes Have Degraded. The FY 2024 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration program is funded at $653 million in the Budget. The Corps will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management to restore degraded ecosystem structure, function, and/or process to a more natural condition. The Budget invests in the restoration of some of the Nation’s most unique aquatic ecosystems, such as the Chesapeake Bay, the Upper Mississippi River, the Great Lakes, the Louisiana Coast, and the Everglades. For example, the Budget includes $415 million for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER) (Everglades) program ― which is an $8 million increase compared to the 2023 Budget level and $66.77 million for Columbia River Fish Mitigation.
  • Invest in Research and Development to Solve the Nation’s Toughest Water Resources Challenges. The Budget provides $86 million ─ the largest request in Corps’ history ─ for research and development. The challenges of today and tomorrow are not like yesterday’s. From droughts and wildfires across the western states, to the increasingly frequent disasters faced by communities across the country, many of the 21st century’s water resources challenges are complex and interconnected. Our nation needs integrated engineering solutions based on the best available science and technology to solve our toughest water resources challenges today and in the future.