2013 Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) Status Report and Update

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1 2013 Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) Status Report and Update Flood Risk Management Provisions from the Non-Federal Perspective Silver Jackets Webinar August 21 st, 2013

2 Introduction of Presenters Dusty Williams Dusty Williams (President) General Manager/Chief Engineer Riverside County Flood Control & Water Conservation District Steve Fitzgerald (Secretary) Chief Engineer Harris County Flood Control District Vincent Gin (Flood Management Committee Co-Chair) Engineering Project Management Manager County of Orange Stephen Graham (Flood Management Committee Co-Chair) Assistant General Manager San Antonio River Authority 2

3 About NAFSMA Established in 1978 Public Agency Directed 15 Member Public Agency Board Based on Federal Regions Three Mission-Focused Committees Urban Focus

4 NAFSMA Leadership

5 Flood Management USACE

6 Floodplain Management - FEMA

7 Stormwater Management - EPA

8 Background on the Water Resources Development Act Dusty Williams What is WRDA? - The Water Resources Development Act is critical legislation that authorizes programs and policy initiatives for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 8

9 Background on the Water Resources Development Act Dusty Williams WRDA addresses flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, navigation and other waterways issues WRDA has existed a very long time, a major change was made to the legislation when after a long time with reauthorization, WRDA was approved by Congress in 1986 and included cost-sharing provisions which meant that localities and regional entities now assumed a partnership role working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on water resource projects. 9

10 Background on the Water Resources Development Act Dusty Williams Those entities needing flood control projects at that time then assumed a 35 percent contribution to flood damage reduction projects, with the Federal government providing 65 percent of projects funds. These projects are guided by legal agreements that spell out the roles and responsibilities both the non-federal and the federal entity. Those agreements were originally called Local Cooperation Agreements, then Project Cooperation Agreements and are now called Project Partnership Agreements or PPA s. Although WRDA is scheduled to be approved by Congress and signed by the President every two years, the bill was last enacted now in

11 Status of 2013 WRDA Legislation Steve Graham Senate The Senate approved its version of the WRDA Legislation on May 15, 2013 (S. 601) Bipartisan Support Strong vote of Key Senate Leaders on WRDA Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Committee Ranking Member David Vitter (R-LA). 11

12 Status of 2013 WRDA Legislation Steve Graham House Key House Leaders on WRDA House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV), House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chair Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and Timothy Bishop (D-NY). Set to mark up a bill in mid-september and plan to take a bill to the House floor consideration in October 12

13 Status of 2013 WRDA Legislation House/Senate differences Steve Graham Details on provisions in the House bill haven t been released, but we expect that the bill will be different from the Senate bill in a number of ways: Individual water resources projects (including flood risk management projects) are expected to be authorized using different approaches. The Senate bill provides the Corps with strong authority to move projects through Chief s Reports, without providing much a role for Congress in the process (different than in the past, but avoids earmark issue) The House legislation is expected to ensure a role for Congress in the process (details have not yet been released). 13

14 Status of 2013 WRDA Legislation House/Senate differences Steve Graham National Levee Safety Program Provisions Senate bill includes most of the recommendations put forward by the National Committee on Levee Safety, which was set up under WRDA 2007, for setting up a National Levee Safety Program House bill could be less involved, possibly providing only technical assistance or other funding to states to start up state levee safety programs Senate bill includes Repair and Rehabilitation Fund for levees ($300 million annual authorization), that will include flood risk management criteria such as emergency preparedness, floodplain management plans, NFIP participation and other criteria still yet to be developed before a levee owner or operator can receive funds addresses pay me now or pay me later questions House bill may not include the levee repair fund, which is critical tool for actually getting funds directly to the levee issues 14

15 Status of 2013 WRDA Legislation Steve Graham House/Senate similarities Acceleration of project delivery. Streamlining of environmental reviews. Enhanced oversight and transparency Increased involvement of local interests and non-federal sponsors 15

16 Status of 2013 WRDA Legislation Steve Graham Next Steps Needed for WRDA to Become Law House of Representatives Needs to Enact A Bill and then it will be conferenced or negotiated out with the Senate bill. Committee leaders from both the House and Senate are included in a conference committee and Sen. Boxer expected to chair that conference committee. 16

17 Why WRDA Is Important to Your Communities and Activities? Vincent Gin Job Creation Senate version estimated: 500K-600K Public Safety American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Infrastructure Report Card: Levee grade: D- 17

18 Protecting our Communities Vincent Gin Protects life and property 2012 Super-storm Sandy 2005 Hurricane Katrina Proactive Deferred cost greater than investment cost 18

19 Examples of Projects & Studies Vincent Gin Orange County Flood Control District Santa Ana River Mainstem Project - Construction Westminster Watershed- Study San Juan Creek Watershed - Study 19

20 Santa Ana River Project Vincent Gin 20

21 Santa Ana River Project Vincent Gin 21

22 Santa Ana River Project Vincent Gin 22

23 Santa Ana River Project Vincent Gin 23

24 Santa Ana River Project Vincent Gin Corps of Engineers Flood Control Districts Southern California Riverside San Bernardino Orange Protection Prevents $40 Billion in damage Protects over a million lives 24

25 Santa Ana River Project Vincent Gin Authorized by Congress: WRDA 1986 Total Authorized Cost: $2.2 Billion Three Elements 1. Seven Oaks Dam 2. Prado Dam 3. Lower Santa Ana River 25

26 Santa Ana River Project 26

27 What Does WRDA Mean to Local Sponsors? Rulebook & Swiss Army Knife Project authorizations Vincent Gin Project modifications Prado, separable element (saved $100 M) 902 Limit Maximum cost of project Deferral of local sponsor expense Funding for permits 27

28 Key Provisions in WRDA What They Will Mean to You Steve Fitzgerald Flood Damage Reduction, Ecosystem Restoration and Other Water Resource Projects an opportunity to authorize critically important projects and to make modifications to existing projects Streamlining of Environmental Review Process provides for reviews and decisions by environmental resource agencies be made in a timely, coordinated and environmentally responsible manner. 28

29 Key Provisions in WRDA What They Will Mean to You Working with the Corps On Project Planning NAFSMA has requested Congress to support any and all means to expedite the planning process 29

30 Key Provisions in WRDA What They Will Mean to You Steve Fitzgerald Non-Federal Implementation of Feasibility Studies allow non-federal sponsors to carry out feasibility studies for flood risk management projects Non-Federal Project Implementation allow non-federal sponsors to take the lead in the design and construction of flood risk management projects 30

31 Key Provisions in WRDA What They Will Mean to You Steve Fitzgerald Make Section 214 Permanent accelerates review and issuance of Corps permits by allowing local entities to fund regulatory positions at Corps Districts (even more important now with federal budget cuts) Crediting Issues promotes earlier construction of essential projects 31

32 Key Provisions in WRDA What They Will Mean to You Steve Fitzgerald Harmonize Public Safety (Levee Maintenance Issues) with Environmental Requirements resolve impasse between federal agency requirements so non-federal sponsors can perform essential maintenance work Authorize Corps, when Requested, to Carry Out Levee Certifications Assists with burden on non-federal sponsors to certify federally designed and built levees 32

33 Key Provisions in WRDA What They Will Mean to You Steve Fitzgerald Explore Expanding Credit/Reimbursment Incentives for Levee Safety Activities restoration or strengthening federally-partnered flood risk management projects by the non-federal sponsor before the next flood event environmental mitigation or restoration activities 33

34 Key Provisions in WRDA What They Will Mean to You Steve Fitzgerald Clarify Levee Vegetation Policies comprehensive review of Corps policy guidelines 34

35 WRDA and the Non-Federal Perspective Questions?

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