Details of Omnibus Funding Bill
Funding for Corps of Engineers’ Navigation Mission
Waterways Council Release
15 January 2014
As the House of Representatives prepares to consider the
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, details about the
legislation have been made available. The Corps of Engineers
program has been funded at $ 5.467 billion, a $646 million
increase over the President’s request.
The Construction General Account receives $1.656 billion and
provides $163 million for the Olmsted Lock and Dam project.
The legislation also establishes a cost-sharing formula for FY14
funds for Olmsted at 75% General Funds and 25% Inland Waterways
Trust Funds. Other inland navigation construction projects
received funding at the President’s requested level: Lower Mon 2,
3, 4, $1.96 million; and Lockport Major Rehabilitation, $11.4
Of special note is the allocation of $81.5 million in additional
funding for inland navigation projects along with an authorization
for up to four new starts to be selected from inland navigation,
flood control and storm damage prevention, and ecosystem
restoration programs. One project must be from the ecosystem
restoration portfolio while up to two projects may be selected
from the other categories.
The Corps of Engineers has 45 days after enactment to select
projects for the additional funds.
Very specific guidance is provided to the Corps of Engineers on
the use of the additional funds. A project must have
received funding in one of the last three years; will reach a
significant milestone or produce significant outputs in 2014; or
it is selected as a new start. The Corps must also develop a
project rating system, and shall consider giving priority to
projects benefitting the national economy or providing enhancement
of national, regional or local economic development. Other
factors such as job creation, economic impact on local, regional
and national economy if the project is not funded, ability to
obligate funds and complete the project, separable element or
phase are to be taken into account.
The legislation significantly ramps up spending for port and
navigation channel improvements, with $1.0 billion provided from
the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund. This is a healthy
increase from recent levels; about half of the $1.5 billion in
annual harbor tax monies have been expended dredging for seaport
UMRA Note: It appears that all increases proposed by the House
may be directed to construction, and would not allow restoration
of lock operations for recreation. $1.96 million does nothing to move the Lower Mon
project forward significantly.