U.S. Sen. David Vitter, top Republican on the Senate committee that oversees the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, yesterday announced that the Morganza to the Gulf Chief’s Report has received concurrence to move forward with Congressional authorization by the Administration after nearly two decades of delays.
The Corps completed the report in July, and it has been waiting for approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB did not object to the report, therefore allowing it to move forward.
“We’re keeping Morganza moving forward on the right track, and the timing of this is great to help us with producing a final version of WRDA,” Vitter said. “Many Louisianians are under threat of flooding every hurricane season, and this project would give them much needed relief. I’ll continue working on the conference committee get a final WRDA bill done.”
Vitter ensured that the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) included the ability for Morganza to get authorization under this bill when he passed the bill through the Senate. The Chief’s Report is a major step in achieving authorization. The last hurdle was for this 120 day review to be approved by the Assistant Sec. of the Army for Civil Works and OMB.
On May 15, Vitter was able to get WRDA, S. 601, agreed to in the U.S. Senate with a vote of 83 to 14. Currently, WRDA is being worked out in a conference committee to produce a final version between the Senate and the House of Representatives. Vitter is the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee which has jurisdiction over WRDA and the lead sponsor along with Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif).
WRDA provides critical flood protection for communities across the country and particularly in Louisiana. Projects like the Morganza to the Gulf and Louisiana Coastal System Ecosystem Restoration Projects will all be able to get authorization under this bill.
Morganza is a system of levees, floodgates and a lock on the Houma Navigation Canal aimed at protecting residents of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes from storm flooding. The Corps has been working on the federal project since 1992.
Press Release, December 11, 2013