WASHINGTON /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The President's Budget for fiscal year 2012 (FY12) includes $4.631 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), offset in part by a proposal to cancel $57 million of prior year funding, of which $35 million was provided through an emergency supplemental appropriation.
The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, said, "This year's Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the Administration's priorities through targeted investments in the nation's infrastructure that help restore the environment and revitalize the economy, while also reflecting the need to make the tough choices necessary to put the country on a fiscally sustainable path.
"The Budget funds the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of projects, and focuses on the three main Civil Works mission areas: commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction, and aquatic ecosystem restoration, as well as hydropower.
"This is a performance-based budget that funds the construction of projects that reduce risk to public safety, provide significant environmental restoration benefits, or provide significant economic returns on the nation's investment," said Darcy.
The Army Civil Works program additionally contributes to the protection of the nation's waters and wetlands; the restoration of certain sites contaminated as a result of the nation's early atomic weapons development program; and emergency preparedness and training to respond to natural disasters.
New federal funding in the Civil Works budget consists of $3.753 billion from the general fund, $758 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, $77 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, and $43 million from Special Recreation User Fees.
The FY12 funding will be distributed among the appropriation accounts as follows:
- $2.314 billion for Operation and Maintenance
- $1.48 billion for Construction
- $210 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries
- $196 million for the Regulatory Program
- $185 million for Expenses
- $109 million for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program
- $104 million for Investigations
- $27 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies
- $6 million for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
Non-federal partners are expected to make approximately $540 million in cost-sharing contributions to the Rivers and Harbors Contributed Funds in FY12. Additionally, $15 million in Federal Permanent Appropriations will be available to USACE in FY12, and $85 million will be available from the Coastal Wetlands Restoration Trust Fund for the work of several of the Federal agencies including the Corps, overseen by an interagency Federal-State task force led by the Corps.
The FY12 Budget funds capital investments in the inland waterways based on the estimated revenues to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Among coastal navigation projects, the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) program gives priority to the harbors and channels with the most commercial traffic. The Budget also funds maintenance work at harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence, or public transportation benefits, although at a lower total level than in prior years.
In connection with the FY12 Budget, the Administration proposes changes in the way federal navigation activities are funded. The Administration will work with Congress to reform the laws governing the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to support increased investments in safe, reliable, highly cost-effective, and environmentally sustainable inland waterways, while ensuring that commercial navigation users meet their share of the costs of activities financed from this trust fund. The Budget proposes to increase revenues paid by commercial navigation users sufficiently to meet their share of the costs of activities financed from this trust fund in future years. In addition, legislation will be proposed to expand the authorized uses of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund so that its receipts are available to finance the federal share of efforts carried out by several agencies in support of commercial navigation through the nation's ports.