Hoeven: President's Budget Includes $150 Million in Corps Funding for P3 Projects Like Red River Valley Flood Protection Project
P3 Projects Have Priority Funding in Budget As a Result of Hoeven Legislation
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request includes $150 million in funding for a new Army Corps of Engineers account for public-private partnership (P3) projects like the Red River Valley Flood Protection Project. The Corps created the account as a result of legislation Hoeven passed that directed the Corps to develop a policy on how to evaluate P3s and incorporate them into the budget. Further information regarding the Fargo-Moorhead Region Flood Protection Project will be included by the Corps as they release their detailed budget.
“The dedicated P3 funding in the President’s budget is a tremendous opportunity for advancing comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley,” Hoeven said. “We’ve worked hard to ensure that the benefits of P3s are recognized when going through the Corps’ cost-benefit analysis. Our legislation, as well as meetings with the administration, helped ensure this pot of money was included in the budget request. Now, I’ll work through the Appropriations Committee to fulfill this request, and as the Corps’ first P3 project, the Fargo-Moorhead region will be well-positioned to secure the funding.”
Inclusion in the budget comes as a result of key legislative provisions Hoeven secured to advance P3s.
Directed inclusion of the P3s in the President’s budget in the FY2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.
- Public-private partnerships represent a new type of financing model for the Corps of Engineers, and P3 projects have not been included in previous budget requests. This language instructed the Corps to incorporate P3 projects into its budget.
In addition to the P3s provisions, Hoeven has secured additional legislation to advance the permanent flood protection project, including:
Secured project authorization in the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRDA).
- All projects must be authorized before moving to construction. Authorization follows the completion of a project’s feasibility study and the approval of a project’s Chief’s Report.
Secured permission for new construction in the FY2016 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill.
- This permission is required for any Corps construction project to begin the expenditure of federal construction funds. Only a very limited number of new projects nation-wide begin construction each year.
Implementing Plan B
Resolved the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) easements impacting the construction of Plan B in the 2018 WRDA bill.
- Plan B modified the project, including construction over federal deed-restricted properties. Plan B is not viable without the authorization secured by Hoeven, which lifted restrictions on levee construction across properties bought out under the HMGP.
Earlier this month, Hoeven advanced the renegotiation of a new Project Partnership Agreement (PPA), which will allow Plan B’s implementation and increased the federal commitment to $750 million for the project.
- Hoeven worked consistently in recent months to advance the new PPA with administration officials. The new PPA will help to both secure future federal funding in Army Corps work plans and provide certainty to the North Dakota legislature as it considers funding for the project.
As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has secured $100 million in construction funding to date.
Hoeven is working to advance innovative options to lower the local financing costs through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.
- Instructed the Corps to develop a WIFIA plan and provided $6 million to support implementing the plan in the FY2019 Energy and Water appropriations bill.
Additionally, the senator has consistently pressed the P3 issue in recent years with administration officials, including Mick Mulvaney, then-Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director and who now serves as the president’s Acting Chief of Staff, and recently organized a meeting between officials at the OMB and leaders from the Fargo-Moorhead region to help ensure the project was part of this year’s budget request.
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