House panel approves slight decrease in Army Corps funding for FY21

The following is text of a news release from the Waterways Council Inc. (WCI):

(WASHINGTON) — On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee approved fiscal year 2021 funding for energy and water development (E&WD) that funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by a party line vote of 30-21.

Overall proposed funding for the Corps is $7.63 billion, a decrease of $21 million below FY20’s record-setting appropriated level, but $1.7 billion above the president’s FY21 budget request.

The House bill also provides for seven new study starts and seven new construction projects to be selected by the administration, one of which is for inland waterways lock and dam modernization.

The Corps’ investigations account funding is $151 million, equal to the FY20 enacted level and $48 million above the FY21 request.

Funding for the construction account is $2.62 billion, a decrease of $61 million below FY20’s level, but $447 million above FY21’s request. 

The Inland Waterways Trust Fund funding level is $90 million for a total of at least $180 million in funding for construction and major rehabilitation of inland waterways projects.

Funding for operations and maintenance (O&M) is $3.84 billion, an increase of $48 million above FY20 and $1.8 billion above the administration request.

Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) projects receive $1.68 billion, $50 million above the FY20 level and an increase of $665 million above the administration’s request. This represents 92 percent of estimated HMTF revenue, an increase of 9 percent above the target set by the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.

The Corps of Engineers will also receive an additional $17 billion in emergency funding to accelerate work on Corps projects. Of the additional $17 billion, the construction account will receive $10 billion to accelerate projects across all Corps mission areas, at least $3 billion of which is for inland waterways projects. The bill also provides $5 billion in O&M emergency funding.

“WCI thanks the House Appropriations Committee, and the Energy & Water Development Subcommittee, for their work in passing a FY21 appropriations bill that funds the Corps’ work. This bill appropriates an amount close to the record-level funding provided to the Corps’ Civil Works mission for FY20 and an additional $17 billion in emergency infrastructure funding to significantly advance the completion of important water resources projects. A new start for the inland waterways in FY21 is welcome news and helps to further modernize this critical transportation system,” said WCI President and CEO Tracy Zea.

By Professional Mariner Staff