CONGRESSMAN UNDERWOOD PROPOSES ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

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CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD Delegate from Guam U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C.

 

NEWS RELEASE April 18, 2002

ASSISTANCE FOR GUAM, THE TERRITORIES

At a House subcommittee hearing today on the Water Resources Development Act of 2002, Congressman Robert A. Underwood offered three proposals to benefit Guam and other Pacific areas.

The Congressman asked House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment to continue the authorization of the Hagåtña River Flood Control Project. The project, to dredge the river and minimize flooding, was initially authorized in the Water Resources Development Act of 1986, but was never undertaken because the Government of Guam was unable to meet the matching requirements.

"The Hagåtña River Flood Control Project is a high priority for Guam and should remain authorized.

"Apart from the need to ensure public safety and economic security for businesses and residents who live in this area, the Government of Guam also risks FEMA funding for its non-compliance with flood requirements in the Hagåtña River basin," the Congressman told the subcommittee.

Underwood's second proposal seeks to raise the waiver on the matching requirements for the territories from $200,000 to $500,000, and to extend the waiver to Puerto Rico, Alaskan Native Villages and Indian Tribes.

"Increasing the waiver is extremely important as it will allow these areas to benefit from critical Army Corps projects, many that are authorized but unable to be implemented because of the lack of local matching funds," he said.

The third proposal would authorize harbor and navigation projects in the territories and non-contiguous states.

"I propose that the Army Corps of Engineers be authorized to plan and complete remote and isolated commercial navigation and harbor projects in the U.S. territories and non-contiguous states that supply more than 75% of goods consumed or used in these communities." Underwood said.

"Currently, many... construction projects for remote and isolated ports...do not meet the requirements of the Army Corps of Engineers' National Economic Development...Improved commercial harbors not only sustain the existing economic health of the region, but the existence of shipping networks and ports is crucial to these areas for quality of life and socio-economic and cultural issues."

For additional information, contact: Cathy Gault at 671-477-4272

Washington office: 2418 Rayburn Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: 202-225-1188 Fax: 202-226-0341 Email: guamtodc@mail.house.gov 

Guam office: 120 Fr. Duenas Ave., Ste 107 Hagatna, GU 96932 Tel: 671-477-4272 Fax: 671-477-2587

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