Hoeven: USDA Awards $12 Million for Flood Protection, Water Management in Red River Valley

Hoeven Worked To Create RCPP in Farm Bill, Provide New Tools for Comprehensive Flood Control

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $12 million to the Red River Retention Authority (RRRA) for water management and flood protection in the Red River Valley in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota. The funds are made available through the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and a conferee on the 2014 farm bill conference committee, Hoeven worked with colleagues in the Senate and House to create the RCPP, which combines four existing programs into one streamlined, efficient rural water management and flood protection program.

“We worked hard to make the RCPP and other tools available in the farm bill to provide solutions to the flooding in the Red River Valley,” Hoeven said. “This award will support water storage for our farmers, which will also ease flood impacts throughout the Valley. That is one of the many steps in our efforts to help protect the region from the annual threat of flooding.”

Last year, the USDA named the Red River Valley as part of the Prairie Grasslands Critical Conservation Area (CCA) under RCPP, which make resources available for upstream flood protection efforts in the region. Today’s award supports the RRRA’s flood prevention plan, which involves six to eight individual projects, to store approximately 50,000 acre-feet of flood water.

Hoeven also worked to include other conservation program tools in the farm bill to support rural water management and flood protection in the Red River Valley, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP). In July, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the NRCS will use these programs to provide $50 million in targeted assistance to the region to address upstream concerns.

Senator Hoeven is working toward a four-part, comprehensive flood protection plan 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 premiums for homes and businesses.