In the News

Corps Delivers FY24 Workplan

May 17, 2024   The Waterways Journal

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Washington, D.C.—On May 10, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers delivered to Congress its Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Work Plan for the civil works program.


“The FY 2024 Work Plan for Army Civil Works continues this administration’s ongoing commitment to fund crucial infrastructure projects and build resilience in a changing climate,” Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Michael Connor said.


“Its investments in our coastal ports and inland waterways will strengthen the economy and help maintain our farmers’ competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”


Connor said resources also are dedicated to ensure the resumption of full operations at Baltimore Harbor.


Signed into law on March 9 by President Biden, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 provides $8.681 billion for the Army Civil Works Program.


Of that amount, approximately $8.2 billion is appropriated across five accounts: Investigations, Construction, Operation and Maintenance, Mississippi River and Tributaries and the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.


The remaining $484 million provides funding in the Expenses, Regulatory, Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Program Account and Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies accounts, as well as funding for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.


Additional details regarding the amounts provided to various programs, projects and activities may be found at

Corps Budget Debate

Leading Senate appropriators appeared to throw down markers during a hearing on President Biden’s budget proposal for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for fiscal year 2025.

“I will be insisting on parity between our new resources for defense and non-defense,” Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said, citing Republicans’ calls for more defense funding.

“For the sake of our economy as well as our environment, we need to protect and maintain our waterways for wildlife to thrive and for essential transportation to occur.”

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, pushed back on the president’s proposed 17 percent cut to the Corps’ current level of spending.

“That makes no sense to me. The Corps actually saves us money,” Kennedy said, singling out the agency’s flood-control projects and its navigational dredging that he said facilitates commerce and helps grow the nation’s economy.

“We need a budget for the Corps of Engineers that looks like somebody designed it on purpose, and this budget doesn’t do that,” he said.

His comments tracked the reaction Biden’s proposed Corps budget received in the House.

In his statement to the subcommittee, Michael Connor, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works, said the $7.2 billion proposed by the president for the Corps focuses on facilitating waterborne transportation, reducing coastal and inland flood risks and restoring significant aquatic ecosystems.

Permit Application Portal

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers introduced a new online application portal that allows the public to submit permit applications when requesting permission to dredge, fill or conduct activities in jurisdictional wetlands and waters of the U.S.

Named the Regulatory Request System (RRS), the portal is available at

According to the Corps, RRS users now can submit individual permit applications, general permit pre-construction notifications, jurisdictional determination requests and other information needed during the permit evaluation process using easy-to-follow online submission forms.

Applicants also will be able to track the status of their requests using a user-friendly dashboard.

RRS will benefit the applicant by eliminating the burden associated with the preparation and mailing of paper applications, the Corps stated, adding it also reduces the effort associated with processing applications and data entry, making the permitting process more efficient.

The agency said it initiated a beta version of the system in January and is working to expand RRS capabilities to accept joint permit applications as part of a second phase of the system’s implementation, scheduled for December.

For more information on the program visit

CG Reauthorization

The House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Coast Guard, enabling the service to recapitalize the “historically underfunded” cutter fleet and increase the pool of qualified U.S. merchant mariners.

Passed by a vote of 376 to 16, H.R. 7659 would authorize two Fast Response Cutters, two Offshore Patrol Cutters and a Polar Security Cutter.

To address recruiting and manpower challenges, the bill amends requirements for merchant mariner credentials and authorizes investments in the Coast Guard’s shoreside infrastructure.

Other provisions promoted by key sponsors would strengthen sexual assault and harassment protections for service members, ensure maritime safety, protect the maritime domain and confront Chinese expansion in the Pacific.

Introduced by Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the bill was co-sponsored by Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), the panel’s ranking member, Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), chairman and ranking member of the Coast Guard and Maritime Subcommittee.

DERA Reauthorization

The Senate approved the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), reauthorizing the program that has provided $196 million for 207 port projects and $88 million for 67 multi-sector projects involving ports between 2008 and 2021.

Passed by unanimous consent, S. 2195 authorizes the program through fiscal year 2029 at its current authorization level of $100 million annually.

It was introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and co-sponsored by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the panel’s ranking member.

DERA provides grants and rebates to help finance the voluntary replacement or installation of retrofits on existing heavy-diesel vehicles and engines.