US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District

Types of Civil Works Programs

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Under the Continuing Authorities Program (CAP), the Corps of Engineers is authorized to plan, design, and construct certain types of water resource and ecosystem restoration projects without additional and specific congressional authorization. The purpose is to implement projects of limited scope and complexity. Each authority has specific guidelines and total program and per-project funding limits. Studies are cost shared 50/50 during feasibility. Most projects are cost shared 65 percent Federal and 35 percent non-Federal during implementation, unless otherwise noted. The following are the most commonly used CAP authorities:
  • Small Flood Control Projects authorized by Section 205 of the 1948 Flood Control Act. Per-project Federal funding limit of $7 million. Designed to implement projects that reduce overland flood damages. Projects must be engineeringly sound, economically justified, and environmentally acceptable. 
  • Emergency Streambank Protection Projects authorized by Section 14 of the 1946 Flood Control Act. Per-project Federal funding limit of $1.5 million. Designed to protect essential public facilities threatened by flood-induced erosion. 
  • Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration authorized by Section 206 of the 1996 Water Resources Development Act. Per-project Federal funding limit of $5 million. Designed to develop aquatic ecosystem restoration and protection projects that improve the quality of the environment, are in the public interest, and are cost effective. 
  • Project Modifications for the Improvement of the Environment authorized by Section 1135 of the 1986 Water Resources Development Act. Federal funding limit of $5 million. Designed to modify existing Corps projects for the purpose of improving environmental quality. Cost shared 75 percent Federal and 25 percent local during implementation.
Section 14 of the 1946 Flood Control Act, as amended, permits construction of bank protection works to protect endangered highways, highway bridge approaches and other essential, important public works, such as municipal water supply systems and sewage disposal plants; churches, hospitals, schools and other nonprofit public services; and known cultural sites that are endangered by flood-caused bank or shoreline erosion. Repair, restoration, and/or modification of the eroding streambank is allowed.

Procedures followed for Section 14 projects are designed to expedite implementation. The time required from initiation of a study to award of a construction contract should not exceed 12 months.

Section 14 covers only protection of important and essential public facilities which serve the general public. In addition to major highway systems of national importance, eligible highways may also include principal highways, streets and roads of special and significant importance to the local community. Examples are arterial streets, important access routes to other communities and adjacent settlements as well as roads designated as primary farm to market roads.

Privately owned riverfront and privately owned facilities are not eligible for protection under the Section 14 authority. Erosion protection is not eligible under Section 14, if the problem is caused by the design or operation of the facility itself or by inadequate drainage or lack of reasonable maintenance. Repair of the facility itself is also excluded under Section 14.

A bank protection project must be designed to be an effective and successful operation. Each project constructed must be economically justified and the maximum federal expenditure per project is limited to $1 million. If the project cost exceeds the $1 million federal cost limit, the difference must be provided by local cash contribution. Studies are accomplished at full federal expense up to $100,000, and the remainder is cost shared. Projects are cost shared. Non-federal interests are required to contribute a minimum of 35 percent of the project costs, of which at least 5 percent of the total cost must be contributed in cash.


Local responsibilities
Local sponsorship for a Section 14 project must be provided by a state, local agency or Indian Tribe empowered with sufficient legal and financial authority to comply fully with all required local cooperation and participation. The local sponsoring agency must agree to:

• Provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements and rights-of-way necessary for construction of the project.
• Accomplish without cost to the United States all required alterations and relocations in sewer, water supply, drainage and other utility facilities.
• Hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works, not including damages during construction, operation and maintenance that are due to the fault or negligence of the United States or its contractors.
• Maintain the project after completion.
• Assume full responsibility for all project costs in excess of the federal cost limit of $1 million or to satisfy local cost sharing requirements.
• Provide a cash contributions for project costs in proportion to any special benefits to non-public property.
• Contribute a minimum of 35 percent up-front financing for construction. At least 5 percent of the total cost must be a cash contribution.

The Flood Plain Management Services (FPMS) Program is authorized by Section 206 of the 1960 Flood Control Act (Public Law 86-645), as amended. The Corps of Engineers developed the FPMS Program specifically to address the need of people who live and work in the floodplain to know about the flood hazard and the actions they can take to reduce property damage and prevent the loss of life caused by flooding. The program’s objective is to foster public understanding of the options for dealing with flood hazards and to promote prudent use and management of the nation’s floodplains.


Typical types of studies
The FPMS program provides the full range of technical services and planning guidance that is needed to support effective floodplain management. The program develops or interprets site-specific data on obstructions to flood flows, flood formation and timing; flood depths or stages; floodwater velocities; the extent, duration, and frequency of flooding; impacts of land use changes; guidance and assistance for meeting standards of the National Flood Insurance Program; and inventory of natural and cultural resources. It also provides assistance for conducting workshops and seminars on nonstructural floodplain management measures such as flood proofing.

The most common types of studies are floodplain delineation, flood hazard evaluation, dam break analysis, hurricane evacuation, flood warning/preparedness, regulatory floodway analysis, comprehensive floodplain management, flood risk reduction, urbanization impacts, stormwater management, flood proofing, and inventory of flood-prone structures.

The purpose of the Inspection of Completed Works, or ICW, Program is to ensure that non-federal owners of federally-built critical infrastructure, such as a flood damage reduction project, perform essential maintenance in accordance with the project operation and maintenance manuals. Compliance inspections are performed annually to identify maintenance deficiencies and operational problems and discuss corrective actions. When necessary, the Corps provides technical assistance before, during and after each flood emergency. Through these compliance inspections, the Corps ensures that the project will operate and function as designed.


Background
Completed flood risk management projects within the ICW Program are located throughout the St. Paul District (all of Minnesota and portions of North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin).

These projects include channel improvements and complex flood damage reduction projects made up of earthen levees, concrete floodwalls, interior drainage ditches with ponding areas and pump stations.

These projects protect valuable infrastructure such as roadways and water/wastewater treatment facilities, reduce agricultural flooding through improved river channels and protect entire communities with the goal of preserving lives and reducing property damage
.

Completed flood risk management projects within the ICW Program are located throughout the St. Paul District (all of Minnesota and portions of North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin). These projects include channel improvements and complex flood damage reduction projects made up of earthen levees, concrete floodwalls, interior drainage ditches with ponding areas and pump stations. These projects protect valuable infrastructure such as roadways and water/wastewater treatment facilities, reduce agricultural flooding through improved river channels and protect entire communities with the goal of preserving lives and reducing property damage .
The Corps of Engineers has the authority to provide reimbursable specialized or technical services to other Federal agencies, States, local units of government, and Indian Tribes.

Most interagency services customers for the St. Paul District are domestic Federal agencies. For Federal agencies, the Corps performs inherently governmental functions, such as program management, engineering, environmental programs, construction management, real estate support, research and development, and other related services, while serving as extensions of their staffs. The Corps is able to offer agencies use of Corps management and technical expertise to assist them in accomplishing the engineering, environmental restoration, and construction aspects of their mission.

The St. Paul District staff annually provides approximately $1 to $2 million in support to other Federal, State, and local governments.

The Corps’ Levee Safety Program was created in 2006 to assess the integrity and viability of levees and to make sure that levee systems do not present unacceptable risks to the public, property and environment.

• The basic objectives of the Levee Safety Program are to develop balanced and informed assessments of levees within the program; evaluate, prioritize and justify levee safety decisions; and recommend improvements to public safety associated with levee systems.
• The Corps has created the National Levee Database, inventoried all levees in the program, and improved inspection procedures.
• The Corps is developing a method to manage its portfolio of levee systems and is reviewing and revising current levee-related policies and procedures.
• The Levee Safety Program comprises more than 14,000 miles of levees and includes systems operated and maintained by the Corps; federally authorized systems that are locally operated and maintained and covered under Inspection of Completed Works; and locally constructed, operated and maintained systems in the Corps’ Rehabilitation and Inspection Program in accordance with Public Law 84-99.


The Corps completes annual and periodic inspections on the levee systems in the Levee Safety Program. In accordance with Corps inspection guidelines, project sponsors are provided with a time frame (not to exceed 2 years) to correct unacceptable deficiencies to remain active in the Corps Rehabilitation Inspection Program. A system with an Unacceptable rating becomes inactive in the program and ineligible for post-flood rehabilitation assistance. On levee systems that have become inactive in the program, the project sponsor can regain eligibility through the Corps System Wide Improvement Framework (SWIF) process while implementing improvements to the levee system.

The Corps is also completing screening level assessments to understand the risks associated with each levee system and assist with developing risk management solutions. The screening results will support the assignment of a Levee Safety Action Classification (LSAC) to denote the level of risk associated with each system.

Corps of Engineers agency-wide process for completion of Levee System Evaluations in support of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


Background

• The NFIP is administered by FEMA.
• FEMA’s NFIP program focuses on the 1-percent annual chance exceedance flood also referred to as the 100-year or base flood. The FEMA 100-year flood is a flood insurance standard, not a public safety standard.
• A levee system evaluation determination by the Corps is a technical finding that, for the floodplain in question, there is a reasonable assurance that the levee system will exclude the 1-percent annual chance exceedance flood (or base flood) from the leveed area based on the condition of the system at the time the determination is made.
• As part of its levee system evaluation process, the Corps will examine and report on elements of residual flood risk and public safety.


• FEMA has instituted a Provisionally Accredited Levee (PAL) process. Communities have 2 years to complete “certification” of their levees upon receipt of a PAL letter. A PAL letter is typically issued at the onset of a FEMA Map Mod effort within a community. \
• Engineer Circular (EC) 1110-2-6067 was released August 31, 2010. It provides consolidated policy for levee system evaluations performed by the Corps for accreditation under the NFIP administered by FEMA.
• The EC is consistent with and founded on the principles of 44 CFR 65.10 (FEMA’s requirements for mapping areas behind levees) while updating methods and references to current Corps practices and criteria.
• The maximum period of validity for a positive Corps NFIP levee system evaluation finding will be 10 years, at which time the evaluation will need to be reviewed for continued validity.
• The Corps will revisit situations in which FEMA used documentation provided by the Corps to accredit a levee system to ensure the documentation meets the requirements of EC 1110-2-6067.

Authority and Fiscal

• The Corps policy is that an NFIP levee system evaluation is the responsibility of the local levee sponsor or community seeking recognition of the levee system on the Flood Insurance Rate Map. In limited cases as listed in EC 1110-2-6067, the Corps may perform the NFIP levee system evaluation; for example, if the levee system is operated and maintained by the Corps such as the Mississippi River and Tributary (MR&T) Levees or is part of an ongoing Corps flood risk management project.
• The Corps is restricted from performing levee system evaluations on a reimbursable basis for non-Federal entities if the work can be done by the private sector. This restriction is established for all Corps civil works activities in Section 211 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-541), commonly known as the Thomas Amendment.

Section 524 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000) provided for inventory, inspection, modification and/or rehabilitation of dams originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Works Progress Administration, and Works Projects Administration (WPA) in Minnesota. Oversight of 361 of the original 417 WPA dams falls to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) through the office of the State Dam Safety Engineer. The rest are owned and operated by individual counties and the National Park Service.


Background

The St. Paul District inventoried these dams and prepared a report for the Secretary of the Army in 2003. This report included an assessment of their condition, and recommended further study on:

- Bronson Lake dam, Kittson County, MN-7
- New London dam, Kandiyohi County, MN-7
- South Blue Mounds dam, Rock County, MN-1
- Clayton Lake dam, Pine County, MN-8
- Balsam Lake dam, Itasca County, MN-8
- Champlin Mill Pond dam,
Hennepin County, MN-3
- Warren Lake dam, Cottonwood County, MN-1
- Clearwater River dam, Stearns County, MN-6
- Breckenridge dam,
Wilkin County (removed), MN-7

The Planning Assistance to States Program, also known as the Section 22 Program, is authorized by Section 22 of the 1974 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), as amended. This law provides authority for the Corps of Engineers to assist States, local governments, and other non-Federal entities in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, use, and conservation of water and related land resources. Section 208 of the WRDA 1992 amended the WRDA 1974 to include eligible Native American Indian tribes as equivalent to a State. Upon written request, the Corps will cooperate with these entities to prepare plans for the development, use, and conservation of water and related land resources within their bounds.

Program Development

The needed planning assistance is determined by the individual States and tribes. Every year, each State and federally recognized Native American Indian tribe provides the Corps of Engineers with its request for studies under the program. The Corps accommodates as many studies as possible within the funding allotment. Typical studies are only done at a planning level of detail; they do not include detailed design for project construction.

Typical Types of Studies

The most common types of studies are water supply and demand, water conservation, water quality, environmental conservation/restoration, wetlands evaluation, dam safety/failure analysis, flood risk reduction, floodplain management, coastal zone management/protection, and harbor/port studies.

Authority - Indian Tribes
Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974, as amended. This program provides planning assistance to states and Indian Tribes in preparation of plans to manage water and related land resources within their boundaries. Assistance is given within the limits of available appropriations, but $500,000 is the maximum federal funds available to any state or Indian Tribe annually. Non-federal cost sharing of this program is 50 percent.

Authority - States
Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974, as amended. This program provides planning assistance to states and Indian Tribes in preparation of plans to manage water and related land resources within their boundaries. Assistance is given within the limits of available appropriations, but $500,000 is the maximum federal funds available to any state or Indian Tribe annually. Non-federal cost sharing of this program is 50 percent.


The provisions of Section 408 apply to works that were built by the Corps and are locally maintained (such as local flood control projects) or operated and maintained by the Corps (such as locks and dams). Proposals submitted for Section 408 review and approval undergo a rigorous engineering, policy and environmental review by the Corps and, if required, independent external peer review. As a Federal action, the environmental review must meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Examples of modifications that might be proposed at a Corps lock or dam are hydropower generating facilities and fish passage channels and structures. Examples of modifications proposed at local flood control projects are major levee or wall modifications to address levee accreditation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Nation-wide efforts by FEMA directed at map modernization of its floodplain designations have resulted in an increase in the number of requests for Section 408 review by non-Federal sponsors for many older flood control projects. The sponsor requests may include measures directed to repair or rehabilitate older flood control structures. Additionally, highway department road and bridge projects may require alterations to Corps projects and need review and approval under Section 408.

There are several stipulations which must be met in order to qualify under this program. Studies are required to evaluate potential projects. Each project selected must be economically justified -- that is, the benefits resulting from constructing a project must exceed the cost incurred to construct the project. It also must be environmentally acceptable and complete within itself. In addition, each separate project is limited to a total federal cost of not more than $7 million, including studies, plans and specifications, and construction.

A single planning (feasibility) phase leads to the preparation of plans and specifications. The feasibility study comprises an initial federally-funded portion up to $100,000, and a cost-shared portion in which feasibility costs in excess of $100,000 will be shared 50/50 with the non-federal sponsor. Costs for plans and specifications are cost-shared at the same proportion as construction (35 percent non-federal.

Once a project is approved and funded for construction, the non-federal sponsor is required to contribute 35 percent up-front financing for construction. At least 5 percent of the total cost must be contributed in cash. The remainder can include credit for those items spelled out below in the items of local cooperation. Should those costs exceed 35 percent of the total cost, the sponsor would still be required to pay for all of these items, in addition to the 5 percent cash contribution.


Local Responsibilities

Before a solution is implemented, formal assurances of local cooperation must be furnished by a state, local agency or Indian Tribe empowered with sufficient legal and financial authority to comply with all assurance items. Typically, the local sponsoring agency must agree to the following:

• Provide all lands, easements, rights-of-way, utility relocations and alterations, and highway or bridge construction and alterations needed for project construction.
• Hold and save the United States free from damages due to the construction works, not including damages during construction, operation and maintenance that are due to the fault or negligence of the United States or its contractors, and adjust all claims concerning water rights.
• Maintain and operate the project after completion in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Army.
• Assume full responsibility for all project costs in excess of the federal cost limitation.
• Prevent future encroachment which might interfere with proper functioning of the project for flood control.
• Provide a contribution toward construction costs where special local benefits will accrue in accordance with existing policies for regularly authorized projects.
• Provide a cash contribution for project costs assigned to project features other than flood control or to satisfy local cost-sharing requirements.
• Contribute a minimum of 35 percent up-front financing for construction. At least 5 percent of the total cost must be a cash contribution.

Contact

Untitled Document

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Operations Division 
180 5th St. East, Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101-1678 

Tel: (651) 290-5314
Fax: (651) 290-5330
cemvp-co@usace.army.mil

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Comment Period:
December 18, 2013 - January 17, 2014