On April 11 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted its notice on the Federal Registrar calling for proposals by non-federal intersts for feasibility studies and for modifications to an authorized water resources development project or feasibility study. They will be included in the annual report to Congress.
Section 7001 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) 2014 requires that the Secretary of Army annually submit to Congress a report that identifies for potential Congressional authorization proposed studies completed reports and modifications to on-going projects.
Proposals are due August 9 and may be submitted online at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/ProjectPlanning/WRRDA7001Proposals.aspx.
Project feasibility reports that have successfully completed executive branch review but have not been authorized will be included in the annual report and those proposals do not need to be submitted in response with Section 7001.
Other non-federal interests with projects must include the following in their proposals:
1. The name of all non-federal interests planning to act as the sponsor including any non-federal interest that has contributed to or is expected to contribute toward the non-federal share of the proposed feasibility study or modification.
2. State if this proposal is for a feasibility study or a modification to an authorized Corps water resources development project or feasibility study; and if a modification specify the authorized water resources development project or study.
3. State the specific project purpose(s) of the proposed study or modification.
4. Provide a practical estimate of the total cost and the federal and non-federal share of those costs of the proposed study and separately an estimate of the cost of construction or modification.
5. Describe to the extent applicable and practicable an estimate of the anticipated monetary and non-monetary benefits of the proposal with regard to benefits to the protection of human life and property; improvement to transportation; the national economy; the environment; or the national security interests of the U.S.
6. Describe any local support that exists for the proposal.
7. State if the non-federal interest has the financial ability to provide the required cost share.
8. Upload a letter or statement of support from each associated non-federal interest.
To be included in the final annual report proposals must be related to Corps missions and authorities; require specific congressional authorization including by an Act of Congress; have not been congressionally authorized; have not been included in any previous Annual Report; and if authorized could be carried out by the Corps.
Project proposals that require specific authorization include signed Chief’s Reports; non-federal feasibility reports submitted to the Secretary of the Army under Section 203 of WRDA 1986 as amended under Administration review; ongoing feasibility studies that are expected to result in a Chief’s Report; proposed modifications to environmental infrastructure projects that were authorized prior to the date of enactment of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (December 16 2016); and proposed modifications to authorized water resources development projects requested by non-Federal interests through the Section 7001 of WRRDA 2014 process.
Those proposals seeking study authorization should include new feasibility studies proposed by non-federal interests through the Section 7001 of WRRDA 2014 process will be evaluated by the Corps to determine whether or not there is existing study authority; and proposed modifications to studies will be evaluated by the Corps to determine whether or not there is existing study authority.
Proposals that are not eligible for inclusion in the Annual Report (modifications to non-federal projects where the Corps has provided previous technical assistance only; construction of a new water resources development project that is not the subject of an authorized Corps project or a complete or ongoing feasibility study) with be included in the appendix. Proposals included in the appendix are able to resubmit in future years.