MIL-OSI USA: Durbin, Duckworth, Members Of Illinois Congressional Delegation Urge Army Corps To Include Funding For McCook

By   /  February 14, 2018  /  Comments Off on MIL-OSI USA: Durbin, Duckworth, Members Of Illinois Congressional Delegation Urge Army Corps To Include Funding For McCook

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Source: United States Senator for Illinois Dick Durbin

Headline: Durbin, Duckworth, Members Of Illinois Congressional Delegation Urge Army Corps To Include Funding For McCook

02.13.18

Members also press Army Corps to transfer responsibility for the completion of the project to MWRD

WASHINGTON U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), Dan Lipinski (D-IL-03), Peter Roskam (R-IL-06), Danny Davis (D-IL-07), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-08), and Bobby Rush (D-IL-01) today requested $34.7 million in construction funds for the McCook Reservoir Project be included in the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Work Plan.  They also requested that the Corps use their authority under Section 1043 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2014 to transfer responsibility for the completion of the remainder of the project to the non-federal sponsor, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD). 

The McCook Reservoir Project, which was authorized by Congress in the Water Resources Development Act of 1988, is a flood damage reduction project that is currently 91 percent complete.  This project will provide $114 million in annual flood damage reduction benefits to five million residents of Chicago and 36 surrounding suburban communities.

“We write to express our strong support for a new, innovative, and cost-effective approach for the completion of the McCook Reservoir Project, a major flood damage reduction reservoir of the Chicagoland Underflow Plan,” the members wrote in a letter to R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), and Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  “Delivering these flood benefits is critical for Illinois and the five million citizens of the region who will be protected by this project.  We urge you to include $34.7 million for the McCook Reservoir Project in the Corps’ FY 2018 Work Plan and approve the transfer of authority for the project to MWRD.”

When finished in 2029, the reservoir will hold ten billion gallons of water and protect 1.2 million homes and businesses in the region from flooding.   It will also greatly improve the quality of area waterways by reducing untreated sewage backflow into Lake Michigan, which serves as Chicago’s drinking water supply, and storing combined sewer overflow during flooding events before the water can be directed through the Stickney Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Full text of the letter is available here and below:

February 13, 2018 

R.D. James                                                                                  

Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)                         

Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army                         

108 Army Pentagon                                                                 

Washington DC, 20310                                                             

 

Mick Mulvaney

Director

Office of Management and Budget

725 17th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20503                                                    

Dear Mr. James and Mr. Mulvaney:

We write to express our strong support for a new, innovative, and cost-effective approach for the completion of the McCook Reservoir Project, a major flood damage reduction reservoir of the Chicagoland Underflow Plan (CUP).  We also request that $34.7 million in construction funds—the remaining federal share of Stage 2 of the McCook Reservoir Project—be included in the Corps of Engineers Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Work Plan.

The McCook Reservoir Project, which was authorized by Congress in the Water Resources Development Act of 1988, is a flood damage reduction project that is currently 91 percent complete.  This project, which will provide $114 million in annual flood damage reduction benefits to five million residents of Chicago and 36 surrounding suburban communities, has a 2.96 to 1 Benefit Cost Ratio.  The McCook Reservoir Project is considered one of the Corps’ premier flood damage reduction projects, due to the size of the population protected, its high ratings on the Corps’ Health Safety Budget Index, and its high Benefit to Cost Ratio.  Both stages of the project have been budgeted, and the project has been under construction for more than ten years.

To provide for the cost-effective completion of the project, we request a lump sum payment of $34.7 million in construction funds for McCook be included in the Corps’ FY 2018 Work Plan.  We also request that the Corps use their authority under Section 1043 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2014 to transfer responsibility for the completion of the remainder of the project to the non-federal sponsor, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD).  MWRD is willing to enter into a Project Cooperation Agreement Amendment with the Corps to reflect this transfer of funds and responsibility for the project.  MWRD also is willing to take responsibility for any additional costs beyond the $34.7 million to complete the project.

This unique and cost-effective arrangement is the result of discussions between MWRD leadership, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA)’s office, and Corps Headquarters.  This arrangement reflects a cooperative effort to complete the project in a timely way, limit exposure for the federal government, and empower a non-federal sponsor to bring the project through construction on schedule and on budget. Congress envisioned this new type of partnership when it included Section 1043 in WRDA 2014.

Delivering these flood benefits is critical for Illinois and the five million citizens of the region who will be protected by this project.  We urge you to include $34.7 million for the McCook Reservoir Project in the Corps’ FY 2018 Work Plan and approve the transfer of authority for the project to MWRD. 

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, 

 

-30-

 

MIL OSI USA

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