The Office of United States Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), announced that Representative Cleaver, along with Sharice Davids (D-KS), and Cindy Axne (D-IA) announced bipartisan legislation on Thursday, May 21, 2020 that would establish a flood prevention program to protect Midwestern communities along the lower Missouri River system. The Lower Missouri River Flood Prevention Program Act would modernize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ methods for managing water resource projects along the Missouri River system and require the implementation of a system-wide approach to projects in order to reduce flood risk and increase flood protection along the lower Missouri River.
“My congressional district—and districts all along the lower Missouri River—have witnessed historic floods in recent years that only seem to be increasing in intensity and the havoc they wreak on our local communities,” said Congressman Cleaver. “We need a wide-ranging, proactive approach that mitigates the potential for overwhelming flooding along the Missouri River, and we need it now. I’m pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation, along with Reps. Davids and Axne, which will give the Army Corps of Engineers the flexibility and tools they need to protect these communities from the devastating floods they have faced time and time again in recent years.”
“I’m proud to join my colleagues, Reps. Cleaver and Axne, in providing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers the ability to swiftly address long-term Missouri flood risk in a sustainable way. Those of us that live along the river know all too well the terrible impact flooding has on our communities — and it’s only getting worse. It’s my hope the House can consider this bipartisan legislation immediately and deliver much needed relief to our area,” said Representative Davids.
“Southwest Iowa is still rebuilding after devastating floods last year destroyed communities and uprooted lives,” said Rep. Axne.“Throughout this recovery process, I have heard countless times on the need for a new approach to flood management. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to address the needs of our constituents and give the Army Corps of Engineers a greater ability to protect communities along the lower Missouri river.”
The Lower Missouri River Flood Prevention Program Act allows for a more streamlined, efficient approach to how the Army Corps plans for and manages water resource projects along the Missouri River. Specifically, the legislation would:
- Require the Secretary of the Army to develop a system plan to reduce flood risk and improve flood resiliency;
- Require the Secretary of the Army to administer a program to study, design, and construct water resources development projects, and modify completed water projects, in order to provide flood protection to affected communities;
- Following development of a project feasibility report, provide authority for the Secretary of the Army to construct projects where the federal share does not exceed $75 million and the project fits within the system plan;
- Require congressional authorization for projects where the federal share exceeds $75 million. The federal cost-share for feasibility reports and construction would be 80%;
- Require consultation with applicable federal and state agencies, tribes, and stakeholders;
- And direct program authority to encompass 735 miles of the Missouri River from Sioux City, Iowa, to the mouth of the river.
Original co-sponsors of the bill also include Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Steve Watkins (R-KS), and Don Bacon (R-NE).
A Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) in March. You can find the official text of the Lower Missouri River Flood Prevention Program Act attached.