Rounds Offers Amendment to Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

Rounds Logo 2016 MikeRounds official SenateRounds Offers Amendment to Energy & Water Appropriations Bill

Amendment would provide funds for Army Corps to implement flood and drought monitoring system on the Missouri River

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today offered an amendment to the Energy and Water appropriations bill that would authorize the use of up to $2 million within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) existing budget to implement Upper Missouri River Basin flood and drought monitoring systems. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) is a cosponsor.

“South Dakotans deserve certainty that the federal government has taken steps to prevent another catastrophic event similar to the 2011 flood that forced more than 4,000 families out of their homes, resulted in five deaths and caused more than $2 billion in damage to infrastructure, businesses and fertile ag land,” said Rounds. “That begins with proper tools to monitor water levels as instructed in a 2014 water resources law. During my field hearing in North Sioux City last month, Army Corps officials told me they didn’t have proper funding to implement the soil moisture and snowpack monitoring system that would help prevent a future major flood event along the Missouri River. By making these funds available, the Corps will have all the tools they need to implement the monitoring system.”

Last month, Rounds chaired an Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Oversight field hearing in North Sioux City to focus on the USACE management of the Missouri River following the flood of 2011. At the time of the hearing, USACE noted that it does not have the funding to improve its soil moisture and snowpack monitoring system, nor has it made an appropriations request to Congress to take such action. You can read more about his field hearing HERE.