Thursday, November 6, 2014

December 3 Deadline for Parties to Submit Proposed Flood Protection, Navigation and Ecosystem Restoration Projects

Among other things, the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act ("WRRDA") authorized a process for approving and potentially funding flood protection, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects related to the nation’s aging waterways' infrastructure. Title V subtitle C of WRRDA, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (or "WIFIA"), provides for "improvements to the rivers and harbors of the United States, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, and for other purposes."   WIFIA provides financial support for infrastructure and related costs, public-private funding initiatives and other innovative credit arrangements, and authorized federal grants to help fund pilot projects. 

The WIFIA provision requires "non-federal interests," such as local project sponsors, to submit proposals to the Army Corps of Engineers, which in turn is required to submit a list to Congress for formal authorization. The Army Corps is currently accepting proposals from non-federal entities for feasibility studies and modifications to authorized water resources development projects. Proposals will be accepted through December 3. In February 2015, the Army Corps will publish an Annual Report to Congress listing proposed projects.

Congressional action on the list of projects in the Army Corps’ Annual Report is not assured. However, for a project to be eligible for federal funding, it should be in that Annual Report. Any local government or other non-federal interest contemplating such a project should file by the December 3 deadline. More detailed information about the proposed project filing process can be found in this Federal Register notice.

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