North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp yesterday met with R.D. James, the nominee to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Civil Works, the top civilian official overseeing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In her meeting with Mr. James, Heitkamp discussed North Dakota’s flood protection priorities, reinforced the critical need to maintain federal support for ongoing Army Corps projects in North Dakota, such as permanent flood protections in Minot and Fargo, and highlighted the need for the administration to include water projects in its infrastructure proposal.
Heitkamp also secured a commitment from James to, if confirmed, visit North Dakota to see firsthand the challenges facing flood-prone communities.
In Minot, the Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked with evaluating a proposed flood control project in partnership with the city.
In May, Heitkamp helped secure $900,000 in the Army Corps’ 2017 work plan for the continued study of potential long-term flood protections for the city of Minot and the Souris River Basin.
Last year, Heitkamp successfully pushed the White House and Army Corps to advance such options for permanent flood protections. This followed Heitkamp’s efforts to bring Minot officials to Washington to meet with OMB and Army Corps officials to discuss the next steps in securing federal funding for permanent flood protection in Minot.
And in April, Heitkamp joined Fargo leaders and the Army Corps to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Fargo-Moorhead diversion. Earlier this year, she urged Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney and the Army Corps of Engineers to continue funding for the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion project.