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Presidents FY2008 Corps Budget: $4.817 Billion

The FY2008 proposed president’s budget for the Corps of Engineers was released on February 5. Worth Hager, president of the National Waterways Conference, the Washington D.C. advocate for the nation’s navigable waterways, released the following preliminary analysis:

Total funding: $4.871 billion – The National Waterways Conference (NWC) will suggest that a figure of closer to $8 billion would be appropriate in light of the needs. This is $458 million below the FY 2006 and FY 2007 (expected) appropriations.

Construction: $1.523 billion – $811 million below expected FY 2007 appropriations and $823 million below FY 2006 levels. Three new starts. Ongoing flood control, commercial navigation and hydropower construction projects with benefit cost ratios of 1.5 or higher will receive enough to cover estimated contractor earnings. No budgeting for beach re-nourishment projects.

The budget appendix says that the Administration is developing and will propose a new user fee to help fund the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. (Word is that this may come in the form of a lockage fee.) The appendix includes the following statement: “The existing tax covers only about 10 percent of the total costs that the Corps incurs to make barge transportation possible on the inland waterway system.”

Operation & Maintenance: $2.471 billion – $502 million above FY 2006 and FY 2007. For the second year, the Office of Management and Budget has proposed transferring the funding of major rehabilitation projects (those not large enough to be considered major replacements), and Endangered Species compliance from Construction to O&M. There are no project tables, as funding is again proposed by region.

Mississippi River & Tributaries: $260 million – $136 million below FY 2006 & FY 2007.

Flood Control & Coastal Emergencies: $40 million – up from $0

Regulatory: $180 million – up from $158 million in FY 2006 and 2007

FUSRAP (Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program): $130 million – down from $139 million in FY 2006 and 2007

General Expenses (funds Corps headquarters, the Divisions and labs): $177 million – up from $152 million in FY 2006 and $166 million in FY 2007

Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works: $6 million – up from $4 million in FY 2006 and 2007.

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