Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-251), as amended by Section 205 of the 1992 WRDA, provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist states, eligible Native American tribes, local governments or other nonfederal entities in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, utilization, and conservation of water and related land resources.
The Planning Assistance to States Program is cost shared on a 50 percent federal-50 percent nonfederal basis up to $500,000 annually. Typically, individual studies, of which there may be more than one per state or tribe per year, generally cost $25,000 to $75,000.
Every year, each state and Native American tribe can provide the Corps its request for studies under the program; the Corps then accommodates as many studies as possible within the funding allotment.
Typical studies are only planning level of detail and do not include detailed project construction design. The studies use standard engineering techniques and involve analysis of existing data for planning purposes. Some data collection is often necessary. Most studies become a basis for planning decisions.
The program can encompass many types of studies dealing with water-resources issues. Studies conducted in recent years under the program include the following:
- Water supply and demand
- Water quality
- Environmental conservation/restoration
- Wetlands evaluation
- Dam safety/failure
- Flood-damage reduction
- Flood-plain management
- Coastal-zone management/protection
Organizations in the Norfolk District area of operations interested in learning more about the district’s Planning Assistance to States Program can contact Program Manager Richard Harr at 757-201-7746.