Hoeven Leads Meeting to Plan Next Steps to Advance Permanent Flood Protection for the Red River Valley

Senator Outlines Flood Protection Construction Authorization and Funding

FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today led a roundtable in Fargo with local leaders to plan the path forward for Fargo-Moorhead’s permanent flood protection project. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven wrote and secured language in the year-end funding bill authorizing and funding new construction activity that will help to advance flood protection in the Red River Valley. The legislation includes nearly $690 million more than the Army Corps of Engineer’s proposed budget for construction and directs the Corps to utilize projects organized as public-private partnerships (P3), like the permanent flood project for the Fargo region.

“Securing authorization and funding for the Army Corps to start new construction projects is a vital milestone in advancing Fargo’s flood protection project,” Hoeven said. “We worked through the Appropriations Committee, specifically the subcommittee on Energy and Water, to authorize and fund these new projects starts, which will enable this project to move to construction. Now, we need to continue our momentum by working not only with the Corps and federal officials, but also with all local groups from both sides of the river to address communities’ flood concerns throughout the valley and move this permanent flood protection project forward.”

The new construction starts authorized in the year-end funding bill are the latest of Hoeven’s efforts to advance flood protection for the region. Earlier this year, the senator included similar language in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Further, Hoeven secured support for the project in meetings with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, Army Corps Chief of Engineers Lieutenant General Thomas P. 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.

Hoeven also successfully included measures in the year-end bill to meet other water management needs in the Red River Valley and across North Dakota. The bill contains additional funding for the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s (FEMA) flood mapping and flood mitigation activities. Specifically, the measure provides an additional $165 million above the FY 2015 level for flood mitigation programs and boosts the Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program by $66 million, from $124 million to $190 million, and the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program by $75 million, from $25 million to $100 million. At the same time, it directs FEMA to take local communities’ flood protection projects into consideration when mapping flood hazards and to coordinate the mapping process with the phases of large projects.

Both as Governor of North Dakota and as a U.S. Senator, Hoeven has worked to advance a four-part approach to comprehensive flood protection for the Red River Valley, including regional flood protection infrastructure, upstream flood protection through rural water management, permanent flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead and affordable flood insurance for homes and businesses.