IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
December 18, 2019
Mrs. Gillibrand (for herself, Ms. Ernst, and Mr. Grassley) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works
To establish a program to establish permanent features for flood control in areas in which temporary features have been constructed, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Local Expertise is Vital for Effective Embankments Act or the
Establishing permanent features from emergency response measures
In this section:
The term impacted community means an entity that has received emergency flood fighting assistance under section 5 of the Act of August 18, 1941 (commonly known as the
Flood Control Act of 1941) (55 Stat. 650, chapter 377; 33 U.S.C. 701n), that involved the construction of a temporary structure.
The term permanent feature means a structural or nonstructural measure typical in a flood control project.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Army.
Small or disadvantaged community
The term small or disadvantaged community means a community—
with a population of less than 10,000; or
financially disadvantaged; and
at risk from repeat flooding events.
Evaluation of temporary structures
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, on request of an impacted community, the Secretary shall evaluate whether the temporary structure warrants consideration for a permanent feature, in accordance with subsection (c).
In evaluating a temporary structure under subsection (b), the Secretary shall consider—
the likelihood that a similar structure will need to be constructed in the area in the future if the temporary structure, or a similar structure, is not made permanent;
the extent to which similar structures have been constructed in the area previously and removed;
the economic, safety, and environmental benefits and impacts of establishing a permanent feature in the watershed of the impacted community;
the extent of the modifications necessary to make the temporary structure a permanent feature; and
the costs of the modifications described in paragraph (4).
Conversion of temporary structures
After the Secretary completes an evaluation under subsection (b), if the Secretary determines that the temporary structure should become a permanent feature, or that a permanent feature would prevent damage similar to damage prevented by the temporary structure, and subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary shall begin the planning and design of the permanent feature in accordance with all applicable design and construction standards and legal requirements of the Secretary, including all applicable environmental laws.
The Secretary may carry out the planning, design, and construction of a project described in paragraph (1) if the total construction cost of the project is not expected to exceed $25,000,000.
If the total construction cost of a project described in paragraph (1) is expected to be greater than $25,000,000, the Secretary—
shall submit to Congress a request to carry out the project in a manner similar to a Chief's Report; and
may not carry out the project until Congress authorizes the construction of the project.
Demolition of a temporary structure under this section shall be subject to the cost-share requirement under paragraph (3), but the costs of that demolition shall not be included in the total construction cost of the project under subparagraphs (A) and (B).
The non-Federal share of the cost of carrying out a project under this section shall be not more than 35 percent.
Small or disadvantaged communities
In the case of a project carried out under this section in an impacted community that is a small or disadvantaged community, the Federal share of the cost of a project may be up to 100 percent, based on the ability of the community to pay.