In testimony on Capitol Hill before the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, April 22, Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick praised The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proficiency in the Sandy recovery work.
According to the Army’s chief of engineers, the Hurricane Sandy operations and maintenance program is more than 70 percent finished and on schedule to be completed by the end of 2016.
Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, from Florida to Maine, with the greatest impact to New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut in October 2012.
“The flood control and coastal emergency program is over 95 percent complete,” Bostick said. “And, I’m pleased to highlight that the Army submitted the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study on schedule to Congress and the American people on Jan. 28.”
Bostick said another goal USACE is working on was the transformation of civil works in four areas.
“Civil works transformation focuses on modernizing the project planning process and by enhancing the budget development process through a systems-oriented approach and collaboration,” he said.
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy also testified, focusing on dams, levees, navigation and the restoration of eco-systems, and on investments that she said reflected the administration’s priorities.
The fiscal 2016 budget proposal “supports a civil works program that relies on a foundation of strong relationships between the corps and our local communities. The budget also helps us in our efforts to promote the resilience of communities to respond to the impacts of climate change,” she said.
The study highlighted targeted budget funding in three major mission areas – 41 percent will go to commercial navigation; 27 percent to flood and storm damage reduction projects and nine percent to aquatic eco-system restoration.
The fiscal year 2016 budget will also fund 57 construction projects, nine of them to completion and covers 54 feasibility studies of which 13 will be to completion, and includes four new construction starts, two of which the corps will complete in one year, she said.
“We continue to contribute to the nation’s environmental restoration of several large eco-systems that have been a focus of interagency collaboration including the California Bay, Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast,” Darcy said. “Other funded corps restoration efforts include the Columbia River, some portions of Puget Sound and priority work in the upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.”