Hoeven Hosts New Army Corps Chief in Fargo, Urges Continued Funding for Flood Protection

Senator Drives Home the Importance of Permanent, Comprehensive Flood Protection to the Region’s Future

FARGO, N.D. – While hosting Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the new chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in Fargo today, Senator John Hoeven urged the chief to continue supporting funding for permanent flood protection in the Red River Valley. Hoeven drove home the importance of comprehensive protection in providing certainty and securing the long-term well-being for the region’s residents and businesses.

“We have made tremendous strides in advancing flood protection for the Red River Valley,” Hoeven said. “Last month’s signing of the Project Partnership Agreement was a major milestone, and we are continuing that momentum to ensure this project moves forward. Today’s meeting with Lt. Gen. Semonite is an important step in that process and gives us the opportunity to show him firsthand the comprehensive approach we are taking to flood protection in the region. This will help ensure the new chief understands how vital this flood protection project is to the future of this area.”

Lt. Gen. Semonite assumed his position as the Army Corps chief on May 19, 2016, succeeding Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. Today’s meeting is part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to advance permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead metro and the Red River Valley.

Last month, Hoeven joined Fargo-area leaders and Army Corps officials for the signing of the Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk Management Project, which defines the cost-sharing and construction responsibilities of the Army Corps and the non-federal project sponsors. The agreement followed language that Hoeven wrote and secured in the year-end funding bill authorizing and funding new construction activity that was needed to advance the project.

Prior to this, Hoeven secured support for the project in meetings with Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Lt. Gen. Bostick and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan, including a meeting in Fargo where Hoeven hosted Lt. Gen. Bostick to show him firsthand the importance of permanent flood control for the Red River Valley. The project was subsequently selected for a construction start in the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2016 work plan, which Hoeven announced in February.

Hoeven continues working through the Energy and Water Appropriations Committee to ensure the Corps has the funding it needs to sustain the construction of the project. The senator also serves as the chairman for the Senate Appropriations Committee on Homeland Security, where he oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s annual budget. The senator has worked in this and other roles to support a comprehensive permanent flood protection plan for the Red River Valley, including:
• Regional flood protection, such as dikes, levees and other infrastructure;
• Upstream flood protection through rural water management;
• Flood plain mapping that accounts for the phases of large, local projects; and
• Affordable flood insurance.