Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the president signed into law the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, also referred to as the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation includes a Hoeven-sponsored provision to resolve easements on land purchased with Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding in the Red River Valley and allow construction of comprehensive flood protection for the region. The senator’s provision grants the authority needed to implement Route B, the changes recommended by the joint task force convened by Governors Doug Burgum and Mark Dayton.
In addition, the bill includes a two-year extension of a provision Hoeven secured in the 2014 WRDA bill prohibiting the Army Corps from charging storage fees for water drawn from the Missouri River. Hoeven initially introduced his legislation as a standalone bill, the States’ Water Rights Act, prior to its inclusion in WRDA. With this extension, Hoeven’s provision prevents the Corps from charging fees for using water from the Missouri River reservoirs through 2026.
“These easements in the Red River Valley threatened to stall our flood protection efforts and impose unnecessary costs on the project’s construction,” Hoeven said. “We worked hard to include this fix in WRDA and pass it into law, allowing construction along the new route to move forward. With this priority complete, we will continue working with the Corps to secure funding in the next work plan and advance flexible financial tools, like WIFIA, to help reduce local costs.”