Independent review of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' studies can help prevent the construction of more ecologically destructive and fiscally wasteful water projects, according to testimony delivered
by American Rivers
to the House of Representatives. The House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment examined the use of peer review to ensure scientifically and economically sound decision-making at the Corps and other federal agencies.
"Independent review, just one of many needed reforms, is necessary to break the agency's disturbing pattern of flawed economic and environmental analysis," said Melissa Samet
, senior director of water resources at American Rivers. "Too often, Corps projects have turned out to be economic underachievers that cause ecological damages far beyond what was projected."
"The evidence is overwhelming. The demand is mounting. Congress must act to enforce legitimate and meaningful Corps of Engineers reforms
, including requiring independent review of costly or controversial Corps projects," Samet said.