The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District Commander, Col. Andrew Sexton, recently delivered a message to the Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association during their annual meeting.
During his message, he discussed the Corps dedication to working with stakeholders in an effort to be collaborative and transparent in their processes on the Missouri River.
Sexton was followed by other key USACE personnel in updating the public on current key legislation and policies being created, their status, and specifically the status of federal flood risk management standards and new proposed rulemaking for the Clean Water Act.
USACE personnel listened to concerns from stakeholders in regards to where the agency should focus their priorities. During the MLDDA meeting, concerns were expressed about the amount of funding going toward programs for compliance with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion.
Another essential topic conveyed from the stakeholders was the importance of navigation on the Missouri River. The Corps are working closely with the navigation industry to identify priority areas for maintenance and repair of navigation structures.
Also, in response to stakeholder concerns that Missouri River Recovery Program’s Jameson Island shallow water habitat project was deeper than the adjacent navigation channel, the USACE completed a detailed survey. The survey showed that the project was functioning as designed and had an average depth approximately half the depth of the navigation channel.
The Corps also provided an update on the levee safety program. The program will continue to emphasize the importance of levee inspections and risk assessments.
Levee inspections are the foundation for obtaining information and assessing levees, and risk assessments allow the Corps and the levee sponsor to make risk-informed decisions in prioritizing maintenance activities.
The Missouri River Basin Water Management Division will host five public meetings to update stakeholders on current hydrologic conditions and the planned operation of the Mainstem Reservoir System in 2015.