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The Planning Assistance to States and Tribes Program, also known as the Section 22 program, is authorized by Section 22 of the 1974 Water Resources Development Act, as amended in 1990 and 2007. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized to use its technical expertise in water and related land resource management to help states, federally recognized Indian Tribes and other eligible units of government with their water resource problems. Upon written request, the Corps of Engineers will cooperate with these entities to prepare plans for the development, use and conservation of water and related land resources within their bounds. 

Typical activities studied under the Section 22 program are flood risk reduction, water supply and demand, water conservation, water quality, hydropower, erosion, dam and levee safety, environmental evaluations and navigation. Activities that local units of government can accomplish through the program are watershed studies, inventories of flood-prone structures, hydrologic or hydraulic modeling, water supply investigations, wetland evaluations, cultural resources studies, lake nutrient levels, river spill response, public use planning, dam failure analysis and flood emergency plans. Studies vary in scope from evaluating a specific water resource problem to conducting a thorough, comprehensive study. 

Section 319 of WRDA 1990 authorizes the government to collect fees from non-federal entities to recover 50 percent of the program cost in fiscal year 1993 and beyond. Section 2013 of the Water Resource Development Act of 2007 raised the maximum federal funds available annually to a state or tribe to $2 million. Appropriate work-in-kind contributions can be credited for up to 100 percent of the sponsor’s cost share amount. The federal assistance provided is determined by the available appropriations.

Study Procedures 

Initially, the Corps and the state, eligible entity or tribe agrees on goals for a work request and its conformance within their comprehensive water plan. The state, eligible entity or tribe develops the scope of work and cost estimate, including essential coordination with other state or tribal offices, for submission to the Corps. The Corps then prepares its scope of work, cost estimate and draft cost share agreement for negotiation with the state or tribe. When negotiation is complete and the state or tribe confirms the availability of funds in writing, the cost share agreement with agreed upon scope of work and cost estimate is transmitted to the Corps’ higher authority for approval. 

The district may begin work once approval is granted, federal funds are made available, the sponsor and the district engineer sign the agreement and the sponsor’s 50 percent share of the dollars are received. Note, WRDA 2007 allows for the sponsor’s share of the cost to be up to 100 percent work-in-kind in lieu of cash.


dam safety erosion flood risk reduction hydropower levee safety PAS Planning and Assistance to States and Tribes Section 22 St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water conservation water quality water supply and demand