New Provisions included in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022
EDF statement of Natalie Snider
(Washington, D.C. - December 16, 2022) As communities across the country face growing threats from climate change, Congress passed legislation that would provide directives and funding for critical solutions to meet the growing demands of climate-fueled flood risk. The passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022) includes new provisions for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address America’s growing and complex flood risk, enable ecosystem restoration, utilize nature-based solutions and begin to address systematic inequality by supporting equitable solutions for low wealth communities, communities of color and Tribal communities.
“A little over a year ago, nearly 100 organizations and experts around the country called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to comprehensively tackle the multiple flood threats facing communities today and into the future. Today, with the passage of WRDA 2022, Congress has recognized that we can no longer ignore the economic, environmental and social costs of isolating a single source of a community’s flood risk. Instead, we must take holistic approaches to meet the extreme damages and complex threats of a changing climate.”
Natalie Snider, Associate Vice President, Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds, Environmental Defense Fund
SEC. 8106. SCOPE OF FEASIBILITY STUDIES.
(a) FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT OR HURRICANE AND STORM DAMAGE RISK REDUCTION. — In carrying out a feasibility study for a project for flood risk management or hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, the Secretary, at the request of the non-Federal interest for the study, shall formulate alternatives to maximize the net benefits from the reduction of the comprehensive flood risk within the geographic scope of the study from the isolated and compound effects of—
- a riverine discharge of any magnitude or frequency;
- inundation, wave attack, and erosion coinciding with a hurricane or coastal storm;
- flooding associated with tidally influenced portions of rivers, bays, and estuaries that are hydrologically connected to the coastal water body;
- a rainfall event of any magnitude or frequency;
- a tide of any magnitude or frequency;
- seasonal variation in water levels;
- groundwater emergence;
- sea level rise;
- subsidence; or
- any other driver of flood risk affecting the area within the geographic scope of the study.
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