The President’s FY17 Budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works was released earlier this year.
According to this document, the USACE, Galveston District, will receive new feasibility funding for the Houston Ship Channel and Coastal Texas studies, continued funding for the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Brazos River Flood Gates and Colorado River Locks as well as the Matagorda Ship Channel widening and deepening.
The District will also receive money for Addicks and Barker dams in Houston, and continued Operation and Maintenance funding for the Texas waterways.
“The President’s Budget for FY17 reflects federal priorities for managing vital water resources in coastal Texas,” said Col. Richard Pannell, USACE Galveston District commander.
“The Corps of Engineers is committed to effectively and efficiently delivering high value projects and programs across our navigation, flood risk management, regulatory and environmental restoration business lines. This includes not only ongoing operations and maintenance, but also new study investigations and construction.”
General Investigation studies refer to the traditional and most common way for the Corps to assist a community in addressing large-scale, complex water resource problems.
A General Investigation study often begins with a request for assistance from a community or a local or state government entity with a water resource need (navigation, flood protection or ecosystem restoration) beyond its capability. Before initiating a study, the Corps generally requires two types of congressional authority – authorization and appropriations.
Once the study is authorized and funds are appropriated, the project will advance through two phases using General Investigation funding: feasibility and preconstruction engineering and design. If the study is approved by Congress, additional authorization and appropriations must occur for construction to begin.
“The 2017 Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the administration’s priorities to support and improve the nation’s economy, protect the American people and restore our environment,” said Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “This budget supports the core mission areas of coastal and inland navigation, reducing flood and storm risks and restoring aquatic ecosystems.”
According to Rob Thomas, chief of the Project Management Branch for the USACE Galveston District, the funding will enable staff to work with non-federal partners to continue ongoing studies and design on various projects.