Hoeven Statement on Minnesota DNR & Army Corps Draft Environmental Reviews for Updated Comprehensive Flood-Protection Plan in Red River Valley

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement after the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued draft environmental reviews for the comprehensive flood-protection plan for the Red River Valley, taking into account the new alignment for the southern embankment and the higher water flows through the Fargo-Moorhead metro area. Both the DNR and the Corps will accept public comment on the reviews through September 27, 2018.

“The Red River Valley needs the certainty of permanent, comprehensive flood protection,” said Hoeven. “The revised plan includes important compromises between the states of North Dakota and Minnesota, and we appreciate everyone who came together to move this effort forward. Now, we will continue working in the Senate to address the issue of FEMA easements, which impede the new alignment, while also advancing affordable financing under WIFIA and federal funding to support the construction of this flood protection.”

Earlier this month, Hoeven held a roundtable with local leaders from the Fargo-Moorhead region, where he outlined provisions he recently secured to support flood control efforts, including in the Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water funding bill, which was passed by the Senate in June, and the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, also referred to as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Hoeven is working to ensure these two pieces of legislation address the following priorities:

  • Resolve easements on land purchased with Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding and allow construction of flood protection.
  • Implement the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide low-cost loans and loan guarantees for water infrastructure, helping to reduce project financing costs.
  • Ensure fair treatment of public-private partnership (P3) projects and others that use alternative financing methods during the Corps’ cost-benefit analysis, including flood protection in the Fargo-Moorhead region.
  • Increase the Corps’ construction account to ensure priorities like flood protection in the Red River Valley continue to receive funding.