President Clinton's budget transmitted to Congress includes $4.06 billion for the USACE Civil Works program
. In addition the program will include $322 million in non-federal contributions and trust fund receipts.
Funding in this request will be used to continue the development of the nation's water resources, the efficient operations, maintenance and management of the nation's navigation, flood damage reduction, and multiple-purpose projects, the equitable regulation of wetlands, and the restoration of important environmental resources such as the South Florida Ecosystem. The budget also begins to address some of the Corps long-term water resources infrastructure main-tenance requirements.
The budget includes a proposal to establish a Harbor Services User Fee and Harbor Services Fund
(HSF). Under this proposal, fees would be charged to vessels transiting the harbors of the U.S. These receipts would be placed in the HSF and would be available the following fiscal year for appropriation to fund both construction and operation and maintenance of the nation's channels and harbors.
The existing Harbor Maintenance Tax and Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund would be repealed, and the remaining balance of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund would be deposited in the new HSF. The budget proposes to appropriate $950 million from the fund in FY 01, with $250 million applied to port improvement construction and $700 million to fund operation and maintenance requirements.
"This budget request
is one of the largest we have received and is a good first step in re-capitalizing the nation's water resources infrastructure," Lt. Gen. Joe N. Ballard, Chief of Engineers for the USACE said. "We need to reinvest in this infrastructure to support continued national economic growth and this budget includes several initiatives that put us on the right course."
The budget breakdown includes $137.7 million for general investigation (funds studies, design, coordination, data collection and research and development); $1.4 billion for general construction
(funds project construction and major rehabilitation); $1.9 billion for general operation and maintenance (funds the running and upkeep of existing projects which include hydropower facilities, locks and dams, recreation areas, and navigable waterways); $125 million for regulatory program (funds the USACE's permit program for dredge and fill material in the waters of the U.S., partially offset by $7 million from permit fees which is dependent upon enactment of proposed legislation); $309 million for flood control, Mississippi River and Tributaries (funds the study, design construction, operation and maintenance for water resources projects
in the alluvial valley of the Mississippi River); $152 million for general expenses (funds for the executive direction and management of the Corps of Engineers Headquarters and major subordinate commands such as divisions); and $140 million for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) (funds for the management of the program transferred to the Corps from the Department of Energy by the Energy and Water Appropriations Act, 1998).