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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 28, 2016.
This bill revises or authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water resources development projects, feasibility studies, and relationships with nonfederal project sponsors. It establishes a process to deauthorize projects with an aggregate estimated federal cost to complete of at least $10 billion.
It sets forth requirements concerning:
harbor operations and maintenance, emerging harbors, donor ports, and energy transfer ports; navigation and flood management projects; reservoir operations and storage allocations; dredging alternatives; floating cabins; dam repair; ice jams; aquifer depletion; aquatic invasive species; and permits to occupy, use, or alter certain public works. The bill reauthorizes estuary habitat restoration projects and the Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through FY2021.
To assist states, the bill contains provisions for:
drought emergencies, regional district flood damage reduction projects, and combined funding in groups of states. Additional funding is authorized for repair or replacement of water infrastructure for authorized communities in states with presidentially declared emergencies based on the presence of chemical, physical, or biological constituents, including lead in an eligible water system.
The bill establishes requirements for "no wake" zones in Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway navigation channels, revisions to Table Rock Lake plans, and land in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, to be held in trust for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council must issue regulations for environmental bank preservation projects that provide credits to offset adverse environmental impacts.
The Corps of Engineers' authority to accept funds to expedite permits is expanded to railroad carriers and made permanent for public utilities or natural gas companies. It must designate a principal approving official to coordinate development of unmanned aircraft systems.
The Corps may operate a fish hatchery to restore threatened or endangered fish species.
The bill authorizes various navigation, flood risk management, hurricane and storm damage, ecosystem restoration, recreation, or river shoreline projects in Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Water Resources Development Act of 2016
TITLE I--GENERAL PROVISIONS
(Sec. 101) This title expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) water resources development projects are critical to maintaining economic prosperity, national security, and environmental protection; (2) Congress has required timely delivery of project and study authorization proposals from nonfederal project sponsors and the Corps of Engineers; and (3) Congress should consider a Water Resources Development Act at least once every Congress.
(Sec. 102) The Corps of Engineers must enter cooperative agreements with youth service and conservation corps organizations for services on Corps projects.
(Sec. 103) The Corps of Engineers must use its existing channel depths and dimensions authority under the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1915 to carry out navigation safety activities at harbor or inland harbor projects eligible for Corps operation and maintenance under the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (WRDA 1986), including at entrances, bends, sidings, and turning places necessary for the free movement of boats.
(Sec. 104) Under WRDA 1986, the Corps of Engineers must use at least 10% (currently, exactly 10%) of the difference between the funds made available for a fiscal year to pay operations and maintenance costs of harbors and inland harbors and the funds that were available for such costs for FY2012 as priority funding for emerging harbor projects that transit less than 1 million tons of cargo annually. Not more than 90% (currently, exactly 90%) of priority funds shall be used for high- and moderate-use harbor projects. These allocations are made permanent.
(Sec. 105) The Corps of Engineers must report on its inventory and assessment of the structural condition of federal breakwaters and jetties protecting harbors and inland harbors.
(Sec. 106) The bill reduces from $15 million to $5 million the total amount of harbor maintenance taxes for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) that a port must collect annually to be considered a donor port that is eligible to receive amounts from the Corps of Engineers for payments to cargo shippers or importers, maintenance dredging and disposal of legacy-contaminated sediment, or environmental remediation.
(Sec. 107) The Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA 2007) is amended to require the Corps of Engineers to consider regional (currently, local) communities when it makes recommendations for harbor and navigation improvements that are not justified solely by national economic development benefits.
(Sec. 108) The Corps of Engineers must establish a pilot program to carry out 10 cost-sharing projects for the beneficial use of dredged material. Project selections must be based solely on: (1) environmental, economic, and social benefits; and (2) diversity in project types and geographical locations. The projects are exempt from federal standards that require dredged material disposals representing the least costly alternatives. Regional teams that include local agencies and stakeholders must be established to identify and assist in implementation of projects.
(Sec. 109) The Corps of Engineers must establish a pilot program to accept services from nonfederal interests or commercial entities for removal of sediment captured behind up to 10 U.S. dams under Corps jurisdiction for the purpose of restoring authorized storage capacity. The nonfederal interests or commercial entities may sell or otherwise dispose of the removed sediment without compensating the Corps for the sediment's value.
(Sec. 110) For reservoirs that the Corps of Engineers is authorized to regulate for the use of storage allocated for flood risk management or navigation, the Corps may receive funds from nonfederal interests to formulate or revise operational documents.
(Sec. 111) In a state in which a drought emergency has been declared or was in effect during the year before enactment of this bill, the Corps of Engineers may enter agreements with nonfederal interests to carry out approved water supply conservation measures.
(Sec. 112) The bill removes provisions of the Water Supply Act of 1958 concerning Congress's recommendation for an interstate water compact for the operation of projects in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River System and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River System.
(Sec. 113) For emergency repairs or restoration of flood control works or hurricane or shore protective structures, the Corps of Engineers must consult with nonfederal sponsors on the availability of nonstructural alternatives and obtain the sponsor's agreement before implementation.
(Sec. 114) Nonfederal interests are released from any obligation to operate and maintain the nonstructural and nonmechanical components of a project for environmental protection and restoration or aquatic ecosystem restoration if the Corps of Engineers determines that the project's: (1) construction has been complete for 50 years, or (2) purpose has been achieved. The Corps must issue guidance for determining when a project has returned to a condition where natural hydrologic and ecological functions are the predominant factors of the location.
(Sec. 115) The Estuary Restoration Act of 2000 is amended to: (1) reauthorize estuary habitat restoration projects through FY2021; and (2) allow nongovernmental organizations to enter the required agreements with the Corps under WRDA 1986 for flood control projects to be initiated only after the nonfederal interests agree to pay all operation, maintenance, replacement, and rehabilitation costs and the nonfederal share of construction costs.
(Sec. 116) The bill repeals provisions of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 concerning the authorization of appropriations for Great Lakes fishery and ecosystem restoration plans and projects.
(Sec. 117) The bill repeals provisions of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 concerning the use of mitigation banks for projects involving wetlands mitigation.
(Sec. 118) A Corps of Engineers coordinator and principal approving official must be designated to acquire Federal Aviation Administration authorizations for the Corps to operate small unmanned aircraft systems (drones) to support civil works and emergency response missions.
(Sec. 119) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) must report on the costs and benefits of expanding, reducing, or maintaining the federally owned hopper dredge fleet.
(Sec. 120) The Corps of Engineers must update its inventory of unneeded properties to consider: (1) economic, cultural, historic, or recreational significance; or (2) impacts at the national, state, or local level.
(Sec. 121) The Corps of Engineers may accept funds from a railroad carrier to expedite the evaluation of the carrier's permits for a project under the Corps' jurisdiction. The authority for public utilities or natural gas companies to make contributions for expedited permit processing is made permanent.
(Sec. 122) The Corps of Engineers' authority to provide nonfederal interests a credit in lieu of a reimbursement for the estimated federal share of a flood damage reduction project under repealed provisions the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 is extended to projects for which a written agreement with the Corps for construction was finalized on or before December 31, 2014. (Currently, the credit in lieu of reimbursement is limited to projects that have been constructed by a nonfederal interest before the provisions were repealed on June 10, 2014.) The credit may be applied to other water resources development projects or studies of the nonfederal interest.
(Sec. 123) The Corps of Engineers' authority to accept materials or services from nonfederal entities to repair, restore, or replace a water resources development project that has been damaged or destroyed as a result of an emergency shall include equipment failures caused by a lack of, or deferred, maintenance.
(Sec. 124) The Corps of Engineers may provide technical assistance to nonfederal interests for feasibility studies of a proposed water resources development project if the nonfederal interest contracts to pay the costs of such assistance.
(Sec. 125) The Corps of Engineers may authorize credits or reimbursements for discrete segments of a flood reduction project under WRDA 1986 before final completion of the project if the nonfederal interest can independently operate and maintain the segment without creating a hazard in advance of project completion.
(Sec. 126) The Corps of Engineers may cooperate with groups of states to prepare comprehensive plans for the development, utilization, and conservation of the water and related resources of drainage basins, watersheds, or ecosystems located within their boundaries. States may combine funds that the Corps makes available to them for such purposes.
(Sec. 127) State regional districts' flood damage reduction projects are eligible for assistance from: (1) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a levee safety program, and (2) the Corps of Engineers for flood mitigation activities. The national levee database, inventory and review procedures, and safety guidelines must be updated to include regional district participation.
(Sec. 128) The categories of "nonfederal interests" under the Flood Control Act of 1970 are expanded to include Alaska native villages, regional corporations, and village corporations among the entities that may enter partnership agreements with the Corps for implementation or construction of water resources projects.
(Sec. 129) For federally recognized Indian tribes, local cost-sharing requirements for studies and projects are waived up to a specified amount.
(Sec. 130) The Corps of Engineers must provide guidance and technical assistance for nonfederal interests to submit proposals for the Corps' annual report to Congress on the future of water resources development. The Corps must notify previous and potential nonfederal interests and local elected officials about opportunities to address local water resources challenges through the Corps.
(Sec. 131) The feasibility reports, proposed feasibility reports, and proposed project modifications for such future development reports may include projects under an environmental infrastructure assistance program.
(Sec. 132) At a nonfederal interest's request, the Corps of Engineers shall meet with a nonfederal interest prior to initiating a feasibility study for a proposed project to review a preliminary analysis of costs, benefits, and environmental impacts of the project.
(Sec. 133) The Corps of Engineers' post-authorization change reports recommending modifications to authorized projects: (1) may not be delayed by policy or priority change considerations, and (2) must be submitted to Congress upon completion.
(Sec. 134) The Corps of Engineers must establish a publicly available database on its dredging projects, including information on maintenance dredging carried out by federal and nonfederal vessels. For each project and contract, the database must include the number of private contractor bids received and the bid amounts.
(Sec. 135) The Corps of Engineers' system for electronic submission of permit applications must: (1) allow applicants to prepare permit applications, request jurisdictional determinations, and track their status electronically; and (2) address joint applications for state and federal permits. The Corps must maintain records of all permit decisions and jurisdictional determinations for at least five years and then archive those records.
(Sec. 136) The Corps of Engineers must publish data on: (1) the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of water resources development projects; and (2) water quality and water management of projects owned, operated, or managed by the Corps. But disclosure is not authorized for confidential or privileged information, law enforcement or national security information, infrastructure security information, or personal information.
(Sec. 137) The bill deauthorizes water resources development projects authorized for construction by this bill if funds have not been obligated for construction during the seven years after its enactment. The Corps of Engineers must identify for Congress any projects so deauthorized.
After 12 years, the Corps must submit to Congress: (1) a list of projects authorized by this bill that have not been completed, (2) the reasons the projects were not completed, (3) a schedule for completions based on expected appropriations, and (4) a 5-year and 10-year projection of the construction backlog with recommendations on how to mitigate such backlog.
(Sec. 138) Transmittal letters and attachments printed as House or Senate documents for certain proposed reports and recommendations transmitted to Congress for flood control or navigation improvements must be made publicly available.
The Corps of Engineers must provide the Library of Congress a copy of each final post-authorization change report for water resources projects.
(Sec. 139) The Corps of Engineers must report biennially on the metrics and project priorities used in developing each business line in the civil works budget. If a revised budget estimate is proposed, the Corps must notify each Member of Congress representing a district affected by the project.
(Sec. 140) The Corps of Engineers must report biennially on the use of natural and nature-based features in water resources development projects.
(Sec. 141) The Corps of Engineers must report annually on the amount of acquisitions it has made for civil works projects from entities that manufactured the articles, materials, or supplies outside of the United States. The report must indicate dollar values and summarize total procurement funds spent on goods manufactured inside versus outside the United States.
(Sec. 142) The Corps of Engineers must: (1) work with communities in watersheds covered by feasibility studies for proposed water resources development projects to avoid adversely affecting any local or regional water management plans for stormwater management, water quality improvement, aquifer recharge, or water reuse; and (2) incorporate the purposes of such plans into the Corps of Engineers' feasibility studies.
(Sec. 143) The Corps of Engineers must prioritize and complete its activities under the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA 2014) to: (1) contract with the National Academy of Public Administration to carry out a comprehensive review of the process for preparing, negotiating, and approving project partnership agreements and templates; and (2) report to Congress with its recommendations for improving those procedures.
(Sec. 144) The bill amends WRRDA 2014 to extend through FY2020, or through FY2025 if target total budget resources are met, the authorization for funding to donor ports and energy transfer ports for: (1) payments to cargo importers or shipping transporters, (2) maintenance dredging that benefits commercial navigation at harbors, or (3) environmental remediation related to dredging berths and federal navigation channels.
(Sec. 145) The Corps of Engineers must consult with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense (DOD) to identify national security benefits associated with the development of Arctic deep draft ports.
(Sec. 146) The Corps of Engineers' international outreach program is expanded to include informing the United States of technological innovations abroad that could improve any water resources development in the United States, including technology transfers or exchanges. (Under current law, the program is limited to informing the maritime industry and port authorities about innovations that could improve waterborne transportation.)
(Sec. 147) The Corps of Engineers must study flood risks for vulnerable coastal populations within the boundaries of the Corps' South Atlantic Division.
(Sec. 148) The GAO must analyze alternative models for managing the Inland Waterways Trust Fund and examine the costs and benefits of transferring the fund to a not-for-profit or government-owned corporation.
(Sec. 149) The Corps of Engineers may enter agreements to assume the operation and maintenance costs of an alternative project to maintenance dredging for a channel if the alternative project would lower the overall channel maintenance costs.
(Sec. 150) The Corps of Engineers may operate a fish hatchery to restore a population of threatened or endangered fish species. Nonfederal entities or federal agencies other than DOD shall be responsible for costs associated with managing such a fish hatchery that are not authorized as of the enactment of this bill.
(Sec. 151) The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council must issue regulations for environmental banks (projects to restore, create, enhance, or preserve natural resources in a designated site to provide credits to offset adverse environmental impacts) to mitigate adverse environmental impacts sustained by construction or other activities as required by law or regulation. The regulations must provide criteria for: (1) bank certification and performance; (2) priority for banks that enhance coastal resources to inundation and coastal erosion; and (3) transfers of environmental credits, cross-crediting of environmental services, and the purchase of credits to offset adverse impacts or legal liability.
(Sec. 152) The Corps of Engineers must carry out an ecosystem restoration and recreation project for the Los Angeles River in California in accordance with the conditions and recommended cost sharing described in the Report of the Chief of Engineers dated December 18, 2015.
(Sec. 153) The Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) may approve and allow the construction and use of a floating cabin (a watercraft or other floating structure primarily designed and used for human habitation or occupation and not primarily designed or used for navigation or transportation on water) on TVA waters if: (1) the floating cabin is maintained by the owner to reasonable health, safety, and environmental standards; and (2) the TVA has authorized the use of recreational vessels on such waters.
The TVA board may not require removal of such cabins for a specified period after enactment of this bill and must allow continued use of such cabins that meet recreational access requirements. But the TVA may establish regulations to prevent construction of new floating cabins.
(Sec. 154) The GAO must report on the remaining federal obligations to Indian people displaced by the construction of the Bonneville Dam, the Dalles Dam, or the John Day Dam on the Columbia River in Oregon and Washington.
(Sec. 155) Upon the request of a governor of a state with a drought emergency during the year leading up to the enactment of this bill, the Corps of Engineers may prioritize updates of water control manuals and incorporate seasonal operations for water conservation and water supply for control structures.
(Sec. 156) The GAO must submit an analysis of the President's budget requests for the Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program for each of FY2008-FY2017. It must evaluate whether the Corps of Engineers' benefit-cost ratios impact the geographic diversity of projects included in budget requests.
(Sec. 157) For purposes of the prohibition against possessing, using, building upon, altering, or obstructing sea walls, bulkheads, jetties, dikes, levees, wharfs, piers, or other works built by the United States for the preservation or improvement of its navigable waters or to prevent floods, the bill defines "work" as engineered structures that serve a particular function, including only structures of like kind to the structures specifically listed. The definition excludes: (1) river channels, regardless of whether dredging is necessary to maintain navigational depths; (2) unimproved real estate; or (3) the mere presence of a particular feature or structure within a federal project.
(Sec. 158) A project that the Corps of Engineers assumes for maintenance under authority granted by Congress shall be: (1) treated as a project authorized by Congress; and (2) planned, operated, managed, or modified consistent with authorized projects.
(Sec. 159) The Corps of Engineers must issue guidance for dam safety repair projects to: (1) identify the types of circumstances under which WRDA 1986's requirement relating to state-of-the-art design or construction criteria deemed necessary for safety purposes would apply, (2) assist Corps district offices in communicating with nonfederal interests when entering into and implementing cost-sharing agreements, and (3) assist Corps communications with nonfederal interests concerning their estimated and final cost-share responsibilities.
(Sec. 160) The Corps of Engineers must expedite completion of a flood risk management project for Cedar River, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
(Sec. 161) The Corps of Engineers may consider all benefits to the public that may accrue from a proposed rehabilitation work when reviewing requests for expenditures from the emergency fund for repair or restoration of a flood management project.
(Sec. 162) The Corps of Engineers' projects to support the fishery, ecosystem, and beneficial uses of the Great Lakes may include compatible recreation features, except that the federal cost of such features may not exceed 10% of the ecosystem restoration costs of the project.
(Sec. 163) An Army district engineer or an authorized representative may permit a nonfederal interest's alterations to a federal levee, floodwall, or flood risk management channel project or its associated features.
Permit applications seeking the Corps of Engineers' permission to occupy, use, or alter U.S.-built public works for the preservation or improvement of harbor or river navigable waters or to prevent floods shall be approved if: (1) the Corps has not made a determination, and (2) the plan was prepared and certified by a professional engineer licensed by the state in which the project is located.
(Sec. 164) The Corps of Engineers must expedite examination and, if feasible, proceed to construction of flood mitigation and restoration projects in the Louisiana parishes of Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and Pointe Coupee.
(Sec. 165) The Corps of Engineers shall not finalize a revision for the Table Rock Lake Master Plan and Table Rock Lake Shoreline Management Plan during the five-year period after enactment of this bill and must provide 60 days for public comment on the revision. The moratorium on new or modified shoreline permits based on the existing plans must be suspended during that five-year period.
Before adopting a revision to the management plan, the Corps must complete a study on the need to revise Table Rock Lake permit fees to achieve cost savings. The Corps must report the study results to Congress.
(Sec. 166) The Corps of Engineers may adjust authorized benefit-cost ratios after the completion of any portion of a navigation project carried out by the Corps with nonfederal funds.
(Sec. 167) The Corps of Engineers must transfer specified acres of land in McIntosh County, Oklahoma, to the Department of the Interior to be held in trust for the benefit of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, on the condition that the transfer does not interfere with other civil works projects. The Corps retains the right to inundate the land with water to carry out the Eufaula Lake project and other civil works projects. Gaming is prohibited on this land. The tribe must pay the fair market value of the land plus transfer costs.
(Sec. 168) WRDA 2007 is amended to extend the period during which the Corps of Engineers is prohibited from taking action seeking to remove an improvement (including dwellings) within the flowage easement of Lake Kemp, Texas (below elevation 1159 feet mean sea level), until the earlier of: (1) January 1, 2025, or (2) the transfer of ownership of an improvement occurring after this bill's enactment.
(Sec. 169) The Corps of Engineers must consider information developed by the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District to expedite completion of the comprehensive planning authorized by WRDA 2007 to determine the feasibility of projects for flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration in Texas coastal areas.
(Sec. 170) The Corps of Engineers must expeditiously authorize, fund, identify, and implement improvements to reduce negative impacts to community-owned flood protection system accreditation where federally owned and operated levees increase flood risk and compromise accreditation.
(Sec. 171) The Corps of Engineers must report annually on corrosion prevention actions and projects.
(Sec. 172) The Corps of Engineers' study to determine the feasibility of projects to restore aquatic ecosystems within the coastal waters of the northeastern United States from Virginia to Maine must be conducted as a comprehensive assessment and management plan.
(Sec. 173) The Corps of Engineers may acquire beach fill from nondomestic sources regardless of whether it is available from domestic sources.
(Sec. 174) The Corps of Engineers must give priority to flood management projects that have executed project partnership agreements in areas where: (1) there has been loss of life due to flood events, and (2) the President has declared a major disaster or an emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
(Sec. 175) The River and Harbor Act of 1958 is amended to allow the Corps of Engineers to establish, operate, and maintain new or existing watercraft inspection stations (currently, the Corps may only establish such stations) to protect the Columbia River Basin in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington from the spread of aquatic invasive species at Corps-operated and -maintained reservoirs. The Corps must also consult with such states and assist them with rapid response to any Quagga or Zebra mussel infestation.
(Sec. 176) The Corps of Engineers must coordinate with Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to assess the recovery of Gulf Coast oyster beds damaged by: (1) Hurricane Katrina in 2005, (2) the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and (3) floods in 2011 and 2016.
(Sec. 177) The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 2014 (WIFIA) is amended to make eligible for assistance as a pilot project carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a project of the Corps of Engineers to provide alternative water supplies to reduce aquifer depletion. Any eligible project costs incurred and the value of any integral in-kind contributions made before receipt of such assistance shall be credited toward the 51% of project costs to be provided by sources of funding other than a secured loan.
(Sec. 178) The Corps of Engineers must expedite a flood risk management project in Brays Bayou, Texas.
(Sec. 179) For initiation of work on a separable element of a water resources development project that has received construction funds in the previous six years: (1) no new start or new investment decision is required, and (2) the work shall be treated as ongoing work.
(Sec. 180) The Corps of Engineers must finalize before FY2018 all permit decisions and publish all decision documents related to the construction of, impoundment of water in, and operation of, the Lower Bois d'Arc Creek Reservoir Project, including any associated water transmission facilities, by the North Texas Municipal Water District in Fannin County, Texas.
(Sec. 181) The Corps of Engineers must ensure appropriate consideration is given to the use of natural and nature-based features in the design, construction, maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation of development projects.
(Sec. 182) The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 is amended to revise standards for floating cabins with overnight accommodations on Corps of Engineers' waters in the Cumberland River basin. The amended standards may not be construed to authorize the Corps to impose requirements on floating cabins or facilities (including marinas or docks located on such waters) that are different or more stringent than the requirements imposed on all recreational vessels authorized to use such waters.
(Sec. 183) The Corps of Engineers must work with state and local officials to establish a no wake zone for vessels in federally marked or maintained Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway navigation channels adjacent to a marina if: (1) documented safety hazards are a direct result of excessive wakes, (2) state law establishes a no wake zone in the channel or adjacent waters, and (3) the no wake zone complies with any Coast Guard recommendations to ensure the safety of vessels and passengers. Towing vessels are exempt from any such no wake zone requirements.
(Sec. 184) The Corps of Engineers may carry out small flood control projects under the Flood Control Act of 1948 that are not specifically authorized by Congress, including planning, design, construction, and monitoring of structural and nonstructural technologies to prevent and mitigate flood damages associated with ice jams.
(Sec. 185) The Corps of Engineers must review its guidance for consulting with Indian tribes on projects requiring the Corps to approve a permit that may impact tribal cultural or natural resources. The Corps must report on the results of its review, any proposed changes, and its justification if it determines no changes are necessary.
(Sec. 186) The Corps of Engineers must develop a structural health monitoring program to assess and improve the condition of Corps infrastructure, including systems and frameworks for: (1) response to floods and earthquakes, (2) pre-disaster mitigation measures, (3) lengthening the useful life of the infrastructure, and (4) identifying risks due to sea level rise.
(Sec. 187) The Corps of Engineers must expedite completion of a flood control project for Chicagoland Underflow Plan, Illinois, phase 2.
(Sec. 188) The Corps of Engineers must effectuate the release of U.S. interests in certain tracts of land located in Cameron County, Texas, subject to any conditions the Corps may require to protect U.S. interests. The Brownsville Navigation District is responsible for costs associated with the releases.
(Sec. 189) The bill makes permanent the Corps of Engineers' authority to use available priority funds (the difference between funds made available for operations and maintenance costs assigned to commercial navigation of harbors under WRDA 1986 each fiscal year and those funds made available for FY2012) for underserved harbors and projects within the Great Lakes Navigation System.
(Sec. 190) The Corps of Engineers must transfer the human remains known as Kennewick Man or the Ancient One to the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation to dispose of and repatriate the remains through the State Historic Preservation Officer to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation, and the Wanapum Band of Priest Rapids. The transfer is conditioned on the tribes' agreement on a final burial place in, and custody of the remains by, the state of Washington.
(Sec. 191) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) is amended to revise and reauthorize the EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) for FY2017-FY2021.
The EPA must: (1) consult with Great Lakes states and Indian tribes, and solicit input from other nonfederal stakeholders, in selecting GLRI projects; and (2) designate a point person from an appropriate federal partner to coordinate GLRI projects involving harmful algal blooms.
GLRI funding is expanded to activities of the Great Lakes National Program Office, including remediation of sediment contamination.
The EPA or other federal agencies receiving GLRI funds may make grants to, or enter agreements with, nonfederal entities for planning, research, monitoring, outreach, or implementation of selected projects that support the GLRI and the Great Lakes Water Quality Control Agreement.
Projects may be carried out on multiple levels, including locally, without a requirement that the projects be Great Lakes-wide or Great Lakes basin-wide.
No funds made available to carry out the GLRI may be used for any water infrastructure activity (other than a green infrastructure project that improves habitat and other ecosystem functions in the Great Lakes) for which financial assistance is received pursuant to WIFIA.
The EPA must: (1) review, and revise as appropriate, the GLRI action plan at least every five years; (2) report to the public on progress in implementing the GLRI plan; (3) publish each GLRI project on its website; and (4) provide Congress an annual description of GLRI amounts transferred to participating federal agencies.
(Sec. 192) The Water Resources Development Act of 1992 (WRDA 1992) is amended to authorize additional funding for water-related environmental infrastructure and resource protection and development projects, and assistance for construction, to communities identified under WRDA 1992 in states where the President has declared an emergency under the Stafford Act as a result of the presence of chemical, physical, or biological constituents, including lead or other contaminants in the eligible system, for the repair or replacement of public and private infrastructure.
(Sec. 201) The Corps of Engineers may conduct feasibility studies for the following navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, ecosystem or environmental restoration, water supply, flood control, and recreation projects:
Ouachita-Black Rivers, Arkansas and Louisiana; Cache Creek Settling Basin, California; Coyote Valley Dam, California; Del Rosa Channel, City of San Bernardino, California; Merced County Streams, California; Mission-Zanja Channel, Cities of San Bernardino and Redlands, California; Soboba Indian Reservation, California; Indian River Inlet, Delaware; Lewes Beach, Delaware; Mispillion Complex, Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware; Daytona Beach, Florida; Brunswick Harbor, Georgia; Dubuque, Iowa; St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana; Cattaraugus Creek, New York; Cayuga Inlet, Ithaca, New York; Delaware River Basin, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware; Silver Creek, Hanover, New York; Stonycreek and Little Conemaugh Rivers, Pennsylvania; Tioga-Hammond Lake, Pennsylvania; Brazos River, Fort Bend County, Texas; Chacon Creek, City of Laredo, Texas; Corpus Christi Ship Channel, Texas; City of El Paso, Texas; Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, Brazoria and Matagorda Counties, Texas; Port of Bay City, Texas; Chincoteague Island, Virginia; and Burley Creek Watershed, Kitsap County, Washington. (Sec. 202) The Corps of Engineers must expedite feasibility studies for, and if a project is justified in a completed report, may proceed directly to preconstruction planning, engineering, and design for, the following flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, and navigation projects:
Little Colorado River at Winslow, Navajo County, Arizona; Lower San Joaquin River, California, including Reclamation District 17; Sacramento River Flood Control System, California; Ft. Pierce, Florida; Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, Iowa; Mississippi River Ship Channel, Louisiana; North Branch Ecorse Creek, Wayne County, Michigan; and Rahway River Basin (Upper Basin), New Jersey. It shall expedite post-authorization change reports for a flood damage reduction and environmental restoration project in Hamilton City, California, and a hurricane and storm damage risk reduction project in New Hanover County, North Carolina.
(Sec. 203) The Corps of Engineers must conduct a study to determine the feasibility of modifying projects for flood risk management in Tulsa and West Tulsa, Oklahoma.
TITLE III--DEAUTHORIZATIONS AND RELATED PROVISIONS
(Sec. 301) This title establishes a process for the Corps of Engineers to seek comment from the public and states regarding an interim deauthorization list from which the Corps must then prepare a final deauthorization list of projects with an aggregate estimated federal cost to complete that is at least $10 billion.
The Corps' interim list must identify: (1) each water resources development project authorized for construction before November 8, 2007, for which planning, design, or construction was not initiated before enactment of this bill or for which planning, design, or construction was initiated but no funds were obligated during the current fiscal year or the preceding six fiscal years; and (2) projects identified on a list under WRDA 1986 that have received no obligations during a specified preceding period of years.
A project shall not be deauthorized if: (1) Congress disapproves of such project's deauthorization, or (2) a nonfederal interest provides sufficient funds to complete the project or a separable element of the project.
(Sec. 302) Specified portions of a navigation project in Valdez, Alaska, and Texas City Ship Channel, Texas City, Texas, shall not be subject to navigation servitude.
(Sec. 303) The Corps of Engineers must prioritize updates to water control manuals for control structures in the Los Angeles County Drainage Area in California.
(Sec. 304) The bill deauthorizes specified portions of projects for:
Sutter Basin, California; Stonington Harbor, Connecticut; Essex River, Massachusetts; and Salt Creek, Graham, Texas. (Sec. 306) Flowage easements are extinguished for portions of Port of Cascade Locks, Oregon.
(Sec. 307) Unless local public officials object, portions of the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, are declared to be nonnavigable waters of the United States. The declaration of nonnavigability for the Rivercenter portion of the Delaware River (currently, scheduled to expire on November 17, 2018) shall not expire.
(Sec. 308) The Corps of Engineers must prioritize the updating of the master plan for the Juniata River and tributaries project in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. It must ensure that alternatives for additional recreation access and development are fully assessed and incorporated as a part of the update.
The Corps of Engineers may accept from the Trinity River Authority of Texas certain water supply storage space in Joe Pool Lake, Texas.
TITLE IV--WATER RESOURCES INFRASTRUCTURE
(Sec. 401) This title authorizes and sets forth conditions for:
navigation projects in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas; flood risk management projects in California, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas; hurricane and storm damage risk reduction projects in California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina; ecosystem restoration projects in Florida and Washington; flood risk management and ecosystem restoration projects in Illinois and Wisconsin; flood risk management, ecosystem restoration, and recreation projects in California; ecosystem restoration and recreation projects in California and Oregon; a hurricane and storm damage risk reduction and ecosystem restoration project in Louisiana; deauthorizations, modifications, and other projects in Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Texas.