Lewis encourages local input in dredging-material management
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after his amendment, attached to the Water Resources and Development Act of 2018 (WRDA), passed out of the House tonight urging the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to consider alternative dredged-material management plans.
“With the passage of WRDA we are continuing to deliver on our infrastructure promises. In addition to the aviation infrastructure funding we approved in April, this bill provides robust support for our waterways, ports, locks, dams, and other water infrastructure while retaining environmental protections and supporting ecosystem restoration that generates economic growth.
“I was also pleased my amendment was included in this bill. As someone whose family business was taken due to eminent domain, I know the importance of having local input in plans that would significantly affect communities. Just yesterday the city of Wabasha and the Corps signed an agreement to work on an alternative plan for dredged material that would spare a local family farm from destruction. My amendment will help ensure this plan is fully considered by the US Army Corps of Engineers.”
The passage of this bill follows suit with a two year WRDA authorization cycle, well ahead of the end of 2018 and preserves the Congressional intent to readdress our water infrastructure next Congress. The bill addresses navigation, flood control, beach erosion control and shoreline protection, hydroelectric power, recreation, water supply, environmental protection, restoration, and fish and wildlife mitigation needs across the country. These functions are critical to maintaining the country’s economic prosperity, national security, and environmental protection.
Over the past year, the Drysdale family has been battling with the potential loss of their farm land to a 40 year Dredged Material Management Plan drafted by the Corps. Their farm and other parcels of land in the area would become a dredged-material dump zone through the use of eminent domain. The MOU signed yesterday by the Corps and the City of Wabasha describes a process by which the Corps can use existing authorities to collaborate with a non-federal entity in order to allow for greater flexibility of material placement. It is also environmentally friendly as it could allow the dredged material to be used in a manner that benefits society rather than taking up space on pristine farmland or along the shores of the Mississippi River.