Hoeven Presses Corps Division Commander for Any Necessary Flood Protection in Spring, Access to Missouri River Water

Senator Also Stresses Need for Mosquito Control Program in Western ND

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, this week pressed the Corps of Engineers on several North Dakota priorities during a meeting with Northwestern Division Commander John Kem. Brig. Gen. Kem’s division includes the upper Missouri River basin and several Corps of Engineers projects in North Dakota. 

“I emphasized a number of key issues in North Dakota for Brig. Gen. Kem, including any necessary flood protection this spring, maintenance on the Garrison Dam and protection on the river banks of the Missouri,” Hoeven said. “I also stressed the importance of our state and tribes having continued access to water at Lakes Sakakawea and Oahe. Access and the ability to obtain permits to draw water easily and readily from the Corps are vital to North Dakotans.”

Last year, the senator authored an amendment to the Water Resources and Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) that bars the Army Corps of Engineers from charging a fee for using water from the Missouri River reservoirs. The senator’s legislation, the States’ Water Rights Act, fixes in law that charging fees for “surplus water” would violate a state’s right to the waters that naturally flow through its boundaries as recognized by the federal government.

Hoeven also pressed Brig. Gen. Kem on the Corps’ commitment to mosquito-fighting efforts around Williston. Hoeven has worked to ensure that the Air Force continues to conduct aerial spray operations in the area. The Corps of Engineers has previously supported the spraying operations to mitigate the mosquito population on Corps-owned land by funding the chemicals and the per diem for the Air Force Reserve personnel. The local Vector Control Board now supplies the chemicals, and Hoeven pressed the Corps to continue funding the per diem costs for the Air Force Reserve personnel. Without continued spraying, the quality of life for area residents would be negatively impacted.