The president’s budget for fiscal 2017 includes roughly $123.8 million in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Philadelphia District.
Along with an updated total of $128.1 million included in the recently released USACE work plan for fiscal 2016, this funding allows Philadelphia District to continue to maintain and improve water resources infrastructure.
Amounts in the fiscal 2017 president’s budget remain proposed subject to the enactment of the FY 2017 Energy & Water Development Appropriations Act; while the USACE work plan shows how funds already appropriated under the FY 2016 version of the same bill will be spent.
Looking at the fiscal 2016 and 2017 amounts together, approximately $250 million over two fiscal years, more than half is related to Delaware River navigation:
- Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project (Construction) – $55 million – federal funding needed for the last two dredging contracts that will complete the deepening of this 103-mile channel from 40 to 45 feet, allowing improved efficiency and capacity for container ships, tankers, and other commercial vessels;
- Delaware River, Philadelphia to Sea (O&M) – $51 million – continued 40-foot maintenance of the same channel as above, plus catch-up dredging to restore previously deepened sections for the transition to 45-foot maintenance;
- Delaware River, Philadelphia to Trenton (O&M) – $17 million – ongoing 40-foot channel maintenance.
Other projects accounting for a major share of the total include the following:
- Inland Waterway, Delaware River to Chesapeake Bay, DE & MD – $40 million –24/7 operation of the USACE-owned Chesapeake & Delaware Canal; maintenance dredging of the canal and Baltimore Harbor upper approach channels; operation, maintenance and repairs as needed for five high-level highway bridges; replacement of one street bridge; and installation of an impervious barrier at Pearce Creek Confined Disposal Facility;
- New Jersey Shore Protection Projects, NJ – $30 million – scheduled periodic renourishment for three projects, all with fiscal 2016 work plan funds – Absecon Island (coastal storm damage reduction at Atlantic City, Ventnor); Cape May (coastal storm damage reduction); and Lower Cape May Meadows (aquatic ecosystem restoration) and Cape May Point (coastal storm damage reduction);
- DuPont Chambers Works Environmental Remediation, NJ – $16 million – ongoing FUSRAP program remediation related to former Manhattan Project activities in a section of the Chemours (formerly DuPont) Chambers Works facility in Deepwater, NJ;
- Northern Area Dams, PA – $13 million – Operation and maintenance of five flood control dams within the Delaware River Watershed in Pennsylvania, and recreation management at Blue Marsh Lake;
- McFARLAND Ready Reserve (O&M) – $12 million – funding sufficient to keep the USACE Minimum Fleet Hopper Dredge McFARLAND ready to respond within 72 hours when directed by higher authority for urgent and emergency purposes.