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Graves, Scalise and Richmond Secure Major Storm Resilience Win for South Louisiana in Transportation Committee Legislation

July 16, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressmen Garret Graves, Steve Scalise and Cedric Richmond secured a major win yesterday that would allow the State to renegotiate the payment agreement for the Hurricane & Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). That project, which includes levees, floodwalls, gated structures and pump stations, was put in place following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to prevent future damages from flooding and major storms. A renegotiation will be the result of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA), which was marked up by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure yesterday, and is bipartisan, comprehensive legislation that authorizes the nation’s water resources infrastructure projects and dictates how those investments are selected, prioritized and carried out.

“Giving the State of Louisiana the ability to renegotiate the HSDRRS payment agreement was our top priority for this year’s WRDA, and I was proud that the committee accepted my amendment to make it happen,” Graves said. “Inclusion of this amendment is the direct result of the bipartisan cooperation with Governor Edwards and our congressional delegation. I especially want to thank Cedric and Steve for making calls and helping me educate the committee on why this provision is needed to help the people of Louisiana. Every penny the state is able to save through a renegotiation is money that will be reinvested in protecting our communities from flooding and restoring the coast.”

“Our entire Congressional Delegation worked closely with Governor Edwards to deliver this important win for Louisiana flood protection,” Scalise said. “I’m glad this critical provision was included in the 2020 WRDA bill passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This provision will ensure states who experienced certain Corps of Engineers delays will have the ability to renegotiate terms and hold the Corps responsible, ensuring necessary flood protection and coastal restoration projects are delivered in a more timely and affordable manner.”

“I was glad to work with my colleagues in the delegation and Governor Edwards to get the necessary assistance for Louisiana in this bill,” Rep. Richmond said. “These provisions give the state the resources we deserve and the flexibility we need to continue building and maintaining projects that keep our communities protected. I’m committed to getting a bill passed in the House that helps Louisiana with flood control and enhanced coastal restoration projects.”

Background:

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held the mark up yesterday on WRDA, biennial legislation that provides authority for the Corps to carry out water resources development projects and studies, as well as reforms and policy direction to the Corps for implementation of its civil works missions. Nationwide, the legislation is critical to the Nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure.

The 2020 WRDA legislation authorizes 35 Corps feasibility studies and construction of all 34 pending proposed projects with final Chief’s Reports within the Corps Civil Works mission areas, including navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, shoreline protection, and ecosystem restoration.

Click here for more information on WRDA 2020.

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