NORFOLK, Va. -- President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget transmitted to Congress includes $4.732 billion in gross discretionary funding for the civil works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Of that sum, the budget provides $27,968,000 for a variety of Norfolk District projects, including $800,000 to study the deepening of the Norfolk Harbor Channel to 55 feet.
"The 2016 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 the Honorable 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. It also advances other priorities through targeted investments to make our communities more resilient to climate change and result in project-related benefits such as hydropower, recreation, water supply, and the clean-up of federally-contaminated lands.
“The Budget enables the Corps to responsibly carry out its important missions, while advancing key Administration initiatives to increase renewable energy production, reduce greenhouse gas impacts, combat invasive species, and increase community resilience in the wake of natural disasters.” said Darcy. "The Budget continues to reflect the tough choices necessary to put the country on a fiscally sustainable path.”
New Federal funding in the Civil Works budget consists of $3.72 billion from the general fund, $915 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, $53 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $44 million from Special Recreation User Fees.
In addition to the Norfolk Harbor Channel feasibility study, FY16 funding for Norfolk District projects:
Construction - $1,570,000 budgeted for Chesapeake Bay Oyster recovery in Maryland and Virginia.
Operations and Maintenance (O&M) - Full or partial funding to continue operation and maintenance of the following projects was included in the budget:
• $2,525,000 for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway’s Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal
• $1,130,000 for the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway’s Dismal Swamp Canal
• $600,000 for Chincoteague Inlet
• $2,070,000 for operation of Gathright Dam and Lake Moomaw
• $1,500,000 for drift removal in Hampton Roads, Norfolk and Newport News harbors
• $4,006,000 for the James River channel
• $500,000 for Lynnhaven Inlet
• $12,543,000 for the Norfolk Harbor
• $400,000 for Rudee Inlet
• $114,000 for prevention of obstructive deposits in Hampton Roads
• $297,000 for inspection of completed works
Nationwide, the FY16 funding will be distributed among the appropriations accounts as follows:
• $2.710 billion for Operation and Maintenance
• $1.172 billion for Construction
• $225 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries
• $205 million for the Regulatory Program
• $180 million for Expenses
• $104 million for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP)
• $97 million for Investigations
• $34 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies
• $5 million for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
The FY 2016 Budget includes $1.947 billion for the study, design, construction, operation and maintenance of inland and coastal navigation projects. It funds capital investments on the inland waterways based on the estimated revenues to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The Budget gives priority to coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic. It also funds harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence or public transportation benefits.
The FY 2016 Investigations program as a whole is funded at $107 million, including $10 million from the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) account, to fund studies to determine the need, engineering feasibility, and economic, environmental and social return of potential solutions for water and related land resource problems. This includes $10 million for work on proposals to deepen and/or widen 13 high commercial use U.S. ports: Boston Harbor, MA; Houston Ship Channel, TX; New Haven Harbor, CT; Manatee Harbor, FL; Mississippi River Baton Rouge to the Gulf, LA; Mobile Harbor, AL; Norfolk Harbor, Va.; Port of Long Beach, CA; Rota Harbor, Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands (CNMI); San Juan, PR; Saginaw River, MI; Seattle Harbor, WA; and Tinian Harbor Modifications, (CNMI).
The Budget also funds completion of 13 studies and designs, two of which are in the Preconstruction Engineering and Design (PED) phase. The 13 study completions comprise two ecosystem restoration studies, seven flood risk management studies, three navigation studies and one water supply study. These study completions include American River Common Features, CA (Natomas), (PED); Boston Harbor Deep Draft, MA (PED); Craig Harbor, AK; Illinois River Basin Restoration – Fox River; Illinois River Basin Restoration – Ten Mile Creek; Little Colorado River (Winslow), AZ; Lower Cache Creek, Yolo County, Woodland & Vic, CA; Passaic River Mainstem Above Dundee Dam (GRR); Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay, TX; Saginaw River Deepening, Saginaw, MI (GRR); San Francisquito Creek, CA; Sulphur River Basin Reallocation, TX; and Westchester County Streams, Byram River Basin, NY & CT.
There are two new start programs included in the FY 2016 Investigations program: the Disposition of Completed Projects Study and the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study Focus Areas.
The Investigations account also includes $15 million to enhance the Corps' efforts, in conjunction with state floodplain management authorities, to provide floodplain management services and interagency coordination to improve state and local capabilities to develop effective flood risk management strategies to flood and storm damages. The Budget continues to invest in the development of interagency teams known as Silver Jackets to provide unified federal assistance in implementing flood risk management solutions.
The FY 2016 Construction program is funded at $1.235 billion, including $63 million in the MR&T account. The construction program uses objective, performance-based guidelines to allocate funding toward the highest performing economic, environmental, and public safety investments.
By program area, the 57 funded construction projects consist of 28 flood risk management projects, 14 commercial navigation projects, 14 aquatic ecosystem restoration projects, and one hydropower project.
The Budget includes 10 dam safety assurance, seepage control, and static instability correction projects. The Dam Safety projects will be funded efficiently with a combination of $310 million of new budget authority and expected carry-over balances from Fiscal Year 2015. Two of these projects (Pine Creek Lake, OK, and Canton Lake, OK) will be funded to completion.
Among the ongoing construction projects in the FY 2016 Budget, the ten highest funded projects are: Olmsted Locks and Dam, IL & KY ($180 million); the South Florida ecosystem restoration program, which includes the Everglades ($123.7 million); Herbert Hoover Dike, FL, seepage control ($64.1 million); Columbia River Fish Mitigation, WA, OR & ID (Columbia River) ($58.3 million); East Branch Clarion River Lake, PA ($59 million); American River Watershed (Folsom Dam Mod), CA ($56 million); Locks and Dams 2, 3 and 4, Monongahela River, PA ( $52 million); Isabella Dam, CA ($49.9 million); Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Recovery, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND & SD ($47.1 million); and Lower Mississippi River Mainstem ($43.2 million).
The nine construction projects funded for completion in the FY 2016 Budget are: Canton Lake, OK (Dam Safety); Charleston Harbor, SC (DMDF); Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Dispersal Barrier, IL; Coyote and Berryessa Creeks, CA (Berryessa Creek); GIWW, Chocolate Bayou, TX (DMDF); Grays Harbor, WA; McCook Reservoir, IL; Port Lions Harbor, AK; and Pine Creek Lake, OK (Dam Safety).
The FY 2016 construction program includes four high-priority new construction starts: Coyote and Berryessa Creeks, CA (Berryessa Creek) ($12.7 million – funded to completion); Port Lions Harbor, AK ($7.9 million – funded to completion); Ohio River Shoreline, Paducah, KY ($5.5 million); and Marsh Lake, MN ($2.7 million).
The FY 2016 O&M program is funded at $2.863 billion, including $153 million in the MR&T account. The Budget emphasizes performance of existing projects by focusing on those coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic, as well as safety improvements at federal dams and levees based on the risk and consequence of a failure. The Budget also funds maintenance work at harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence, or public transportation benefits.
The FY 2016 aquatic ecosystem restoration program is funded at $411 million with $379 million from Construction, $17 million from Investigations and $15 million from O&M.
This program supports restoring aquatic habitat to a less degraded, more natural condition in ecosystems where ecosystem structure, function, and processes have been degraded. Priority aquatic ecosystems supported by the Budget include the California Bay-Delta, the Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf Coast. Other ecosystem efforts include portions of Puget Sound, the Columbia River, and priority work in the Upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers.
The Corps will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management to protect and restore these ecosystems.
Collaborating with federal, non-federal, state and local partners, the Corps completed the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (Comprehensive Study) this year, a report that developed a universal Coastal Storm Risk Management Framework that identified a set of structural, non-structural natural, nature-based, and programmatic measures to manage flood risk and promote resilience for approximately 31,000 miles of coastline, from New Hampshire to Virginia. The FY 2016 Budget will fund continuing work for three of the nine Focus Areas identified in the Comprehensive Study. These are New York-New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries, New Jersey Back Bays, and City of Norfolk. The FY 2016 Budget funds will also be used to execute feasibility cost-sharing agreements with local sponsors for each focus area and to continue with feasibility study efforts. These areas were selected based on the readiness of the local sponsors to cost-share further investigations work.
The FY 2016 Budget funds recreation at $261 million in FY16, with $250 million in the O&M account and $11 million in the MR&T account. The Corps is the nation’s largest provider of Federal recreation opportunities, with 370 million visits to Corps’ lands and waters per year.
The FY 2016 Regulatory Program is funded at $205 million and will improve the protection of the nation’s waters and wetlands, while providing greater efficiency in permit processing.
The FY 2016 FUSRAP program is funded at $104 million to continue remediation activities at 23 sites contaminated by the Nation’s early efforts to develop atomic weapons.
Based on the Corps’ contribution to the response and recovery of communities after natural disasters strike, and the inevitability that there will be more, Emergency Management is funded at $39 million in FY 2016, with $34 million in the FCCE account for preparedness and training to respond to floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and $5 million in the O&M account.
The FY 2016 Civil Works budget press book will be available on the Web at 1:30 p.m. eastern, February 2, at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books.