Hoeven: FEMA Workshop Will Help Ensure Comprehensive Flood Protection for Entire Minot Region

Senator Hosted FEMA Administrator in Minot Last Year, Secured Commitment to Help Find Funding Options for Later Phases of Flood Protection

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today marked the start of a two-day workshop in Minot with the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), as well as financial and philanthropic experts, to find creative funding solutions and help advance comprehensive flood protection for the Souris River Valley. This effort comes as the result of Hoeven’s meeting with FEMA Administrator Brock Long in Minot last year, during which the senator secured a commitment from Long to work with his office and local officials to identify funding to construct flood protection for the remainder of the Minot region, beyond the four phases of the Army Corps’ current project.

“Our communities in the Minot region need the certainty of comprehensive flood protection,” Hoeven said. “I appreciate FEMA for following through on their commitment to help find funding to build flood protection for the entire region. This week’s workshop is a vital part of that effort, and we look forward to continuing to work with all involved to secure the funding opportunities they identify and move forward on the flood protection for the Souris River Basin.”

In addition to identifying additional funding, Hoeven is working with FEMA to ensure the agency’s preliminary flood maps and the resulting flood insurance rates are accurate in the Souris River Basin. This includes making sure FEMA reevaluates discrepancies in its preliminary flood maps, provides an extended timetable for public comment on the maps and updates the maps as permanent flood protection is built.

Hoeven also continues his efforts as a member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee to support regional flood protection efforts in North Dakota. To this end, the senator helped secure the following priorities in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding legislation and is continuing his efforts to include them in a future appropriations package:

  • Army Corps Construction – Provides $125 million in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control projects above the administration’s budget request. This additional funding will help ensure that efforts like comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley are funded in the Corps’ FY2018 work plan. 
  • Minot Area Flood Study – Provides $400,000 for the Corps’ feasibility study in the Souris River Basin. The study is a vital step in advancing the first four phases of the Minot area’s flood protection project.
  • Addressing Section 408 Delays – Includes a provision at Hoeven’s request directing the Corps to expedite processing of Section 408 packages, which are used to make changes to existing Corps projects, and find alternative ways to approve project modifications. Hoeven has been in regular contact with the Army Corps to resolve the delays since July, which are affecting projects across North Dakota. Last month, Hoeven announced that the Corps had completed the Section 408 review for the Minot region.
  • Fair Treatment of Public-Private Partnerships – Includes a provision to ensure fair treatment of public-private partnerships, such as flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead region, during the Corps’s analysis of a project’s benefits and costs. Hoeven has secured commitments from administration officials to address inconsistencies in this policy, including Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, Army Corps Chief Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite and Neomi Rao, the head of the administration’s central regulatory authority.