Hoeven: Energy and Water Funding Bill Supports Important Projects in North Dakota

Senator Secured Support for Corps Flood Control Projects, WIFIA and Public-Private Partnerships in Legislation Approved by Appropriations Committee

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Energy and Water, today announced that the full Senate Appropriations Committee has approved Fiscal Year 2019 funding legislation supporting comprehensive flood protection for communities in North Dakota. The legislation now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

“The Energy and Water Appropriations Bill includes important funding and priorities that will help to build water infrastructure in communities across the state from flood protection projects to sewer upgrades in smaller communities,” said Hoeven. “We worked to provide the Army Corps with funding that will enable the construction of important water projects, including comprehensive flood protection for the Fargo Moorhead region. We also were able to secure important language in support of P3 projects and the WIFIA program that will help to move flood protection projects forward.”

            Hoeven worked to secure the following provisions to support North Dakota priorities:

Army Corps Construction – Provides $76 million in funding above the FY 2018 level for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction projects. The increase in the Corps construction account provides additional funding to support Corps priorities in Fiscal year 2019, including comprehensive flood protection for the Fargo Moorhead region.  

Implementing WIFIA – Building on Hoeven’s legislation to extend the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), the bill includes language directing the Corps to complete a detailed plan for implementing WIFIA, including a schedule for when funding could be used for providing loans. The bill provides $1 million to support WIFIA program development and implementation. WIFIA supplements federal funding with long-term, low-cost loans and loan guarantees to help stimulate investment in water infrastructure, such as flood control, storm water management and wastewater treatment.

Support for Public-Private Partnership (P3) Projects – Includes a provision directing the Corps to issue policy on the consideration and incorporation of public-private sector partnership projects into its budget. This continues Hoeven’s work to ensure fair treatment of public-private partnerships, such as comprehensive flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead region, during the Corps’ analysis of a project’s benefits and costs. 

Small Water Infrastructure Projects – Provides $75 million in infrastructure funding for small water infrastructure improvements. This program has supported sewer upgrades for cities like LaMoure and Petersburg.

Missouri River Recreation Site Repairs – Includes language encouraging the Corps to prioritize repairs of recreation sites on its land along the Missouri River.

Section 404 and 408 Reviews – Encourages the Corps to continue reforms to accelerate section 404 and 408 reviews that experienced significant delays in prior years. Last year Hoeven secured similar language in the bill to expedite processing of Section 408 packages that affected several North Dakota projects, including those in Minot and Cass County.