Corps of Engineers Opens Door for New Project and Study Proposals

In a typically cryptic announcement on its website, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced an important opportunity now open to potential non-federal sponsors. Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development:

Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development

Section 7001 of WRRDA 2014, as amended, requires that the Secretary of the Army annually submit to the Congress a reportthat identifies, for potential congressional authorization, completed feasibility reports, proposed feasibility studies submitted by non-Federal interests, proposed modifications to authorized water resources development projects or feasibility studies, and proposed modifications to environmental infrastructure program authorities proposed feasibility studies, and proposed modifications to authorized projects or studies that meet all the following criteria:

  • Are related to the missions and authorities of the Corps of Engineers (Corps).  The Corps’ primary missions are navigation, flood risk management, and aquatic ecosystem restoration. Recreation, hydropower, and/or water supply will be considered “related to the Corps’ missions and authorities” when such function is performed in conjunction with one or more of the primary missions.
  • Require specific congressional authorization.
  • Have not been congressionally authorized.
  • Have not been included in the main table of a previous annual report.
  • If authorized could be carried out by the Corps of Engineers.

The annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development is to be based, in part, upon annual requests for proposals for authorization from non-Federal interests.

Section 7001 requires that the Secretary certify that the proposals included in the annual report meet the five criteria established by Congress, listed above. Any proposals that do not meet the criteria will be included in the report’s appendix.  Inclusion in the annual Report to Congress does not provide authorization or appropriation for a study or project.

Preparing and Submitting a Proposal

The proposal period for the 2020 Report to Congress opens on April 29, 2019 for 120 days.  The deadline for proposals is August 27, 2019.

All non-federal interests are invited to submit proposals for new Corps water resources development project study authority; modifications to an existing Corps water resources development project study authority; modifications to an existing Corps water resources development project authority; and modifications to an existing Corps environmental infrastructure program authority.  Please submit one form for each study or modification to a study, project, or environmental infrastructure program authority being proposed.  Do not include Confidential Business Information, information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, or any other information that you would not want to appear in the Annual Report to Congress.

We recommend completing the proposal form in one sitting and having all letters of support and other materials assembled before completing the form. The following information will be requested:

  1. Contact information for the individual/agency submitting the proposal.
  2. Study project / location; you’ll have the option to upload a map of the study / project area (8.5”x11” PDF).
  3. The name of the non-Federal interest planning to act as the sponsor, or all non-Federal interests in the case of a modification to an environmental infrastructure program authority, 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.
  4. A letter or statement of support from each associated non-Federal interest. Letters may be addressed generically to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the local Corps District office, or the Assistant Secretary of the Army of Civil Works office.  Please limit your files to a maximum of 30MB (30,000 KB) in size. Files larger than 30 MB will not be considered.
  5. State if this proposal is for a feasibility study, a modification to a USACE water resources development feasibility study authority, a modification to a USACE water resources project authority, or a modification to a USACE environmental infrastructure program authority.
  6. If the proposal is for a modification, the name of the authorized study, project, or environmental infrastructure program must be specified.
  7. If the proposal is for a modification to an environmental infrastructure program authority, a brief description of the assistance provided to date and total Federal cost of assistance provided to date must be provided.
  8. State the specific project purpose(s) of the proposed study or modification and demonstrate the proposal is related to USACE missions and authorities and why additional or new authorization is needed.
  9. Provide an estimate, to the extent practicable, 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.
  10. 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 and improvement to transportation, the national economy, the environment, or the national security interests of the United States.
  11. Describe local support for the proposal.
  12. State if the non-Federal interest has the financial ability to provide for the required cost share, reference the Planning Guidance Notebook (ER 1105-2-100).

Although additional proposal documentation may be uploaded (30MB max file size), please be sure to answer each question in the field provided. Responses should not state “refer to uploaded documents” with no other response.

See the USACE Announcement . . .