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Hoeven Advances Flood Protection, Water Infrastructure Priorities
North Dakota Ag Connection - 06/25/2020

Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, this week advanced North Dakota's flood protection priorities with Maj. Gen. Scott Spellmon, the nominee to serve as Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers. This builds on Hoeven's work with Spellmon in his previous roles, including as the Corps' Deputy Commanding General and Northwestern Division Commander, which oversees the Omaha District and the Missouri River.

"As Maj. Gen. Spellmon's nomination moves through the Senate, our conversation was an important opportunity to ensure he is up-to-date on all of our flood protection efforts across North Dakota and to secure his continued support," said Hoeven. "We look forward to working with him to advance critical projects in the Red River and Souris River valleys, among other areas. That includes building on the recent $100 million we secured for the Fargo-Moorhead region in the Army Corps' Fiscal Year 2020 work plan and the authorization for Minot's fourth phase, which was recently passed by the Senate EPW Committee."

Specifically, Hoeven highlighted the following efforts in his conversation with Maj. Gen. Spellmon:

- Funding the construction of comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley.

o Hoeven secured $100 million for the project's construction in the Army Corps' Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 work plan and continues his efforts to ensure the Corps' construction account has adequate funding for the coming years.

o This will help to fulfill the federal government's increased funding commitment, which Hoeven helped secure under the new Project Partnership Agreement (PPA).

o The senator also continues to advance Fargo-Moorhead's application for a $561 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan, which will serve as a low-cost, flexible funding source.

- Authorizing the fourth phase of the Minot region's flood protection project, enabling it to receive federal funding through Army Corps' work plans.

o The project authorization was recently included in legislation approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

o This comes as a result of the signed chief's report, which Hoeven advanced by securing $1.3 million for Minot's feasibility study, among other things.

- Accrediting the Williston levee.

o Senator Hoeven recently led the delegation in urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to follow the Army Corps' recommendation to accredit the levee and include it in the agency's updated flood maps.

- Reinforcing the Pipestem dam spillway terminal, near Jamestown, to prevent erosion.

- Enhancing rural water infrastructure.

o Hoeven works to fund the Corps' environmental infrastructure program each year, which has supported needed upgrades to rural water and sewer systems in communities like Kindred, LaMoure, Petersburg and Medina.

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