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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Water, announced today he has secured the inclusion of North Dakota water infrastructure projects in the year-end spending package Congress is set to pass.
“Our water infrastructure legislation delivers several wins for North Dakota communities and sets up America for long-term success,” said Senator Cramer. “It creates jobs, invests in local water projects, and provides the clear direction and oversight the Army Corps of Engineers needs. I am glad my colleagues supported this legislation and pleased to see it will become law.”
The North Dakota projects secured by Senator Cramer include the following:
- Snake Creek Embankment – requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to reassess its current Interim Risk Reduction measures for projects like the Snake Creek Embankment.
- Under Senator Cramer’s language, the USACE will have to reassess the Water Control Plan Environmental Assessment to account for irrigation and Eastern North Dakota water supplies.
- Williston Levee Accreditation – requiring the USACE to work with communities like Williston, which is seeking accreditation for a levee operated and maintained by the USACE.
- Surplus Water Fees – prohibits surplus water fees in Upper Missouri Mainstem Reservoirs for four more years.
- Souris River Flood Protection Plan – authorizing the Souris River project to provide future flood protection for residents throughout the Souris River Basin in North Dakota. This provides substantial progress for Minot’s flood control plan.
- Terrestrial Noxious Weed Control Demonstration Program – directing the USACE to partner with interested parties to identify and develop improved strategies to manage the reoccurring issue of noxious weeds, which can be harmful to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, and overall property quality.
- Rush River and Lower Rush River – deauthorizing projects which have outlived their usefulness and are no longer needed for the purpose for which they were originally constructed. This includes the Rush River and Lower Rush River projects, which Cass County has asked to be deauthorized.
- Subsurface Drain Systems Research and Development – establishing a research and development project to better understand and offer a potential system for durable, corrugated and perforated polyethylene tile, designed to benefit farmers, coastal communities, and the public seeking cost-effect flood risk reduction measures.
- Underserved, Economically Distressed or Rural USACE Projects – creating a separate pilot process for the USACE to prioritize projects effecting communities most in need.
The projects are part of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), an EPW Committee bill Senator Cramer helped write which unanimously passed through the committee in May and through House of Representatives earlier this month. Learn more here.