UMRBA H.R. 5722 Comment Letter

December 13, 2023

UMRBA applauds the leadership of Representative Mary Miller and other members of Congress in improving flood protection on the Upper Mississippi River System.  On September 26, 2023, Rep. Mary Miller, along with Reps. Mike Bost, Eric Sorensen, and Darin LaHood, introduced to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Upper Mississippi River Levee and Floodwall Design Standards bill (H.R. 5722).

In the spirit of continued cooperation with Congress, our federal agency partners, affected interests, UMRBA is writing to respectfully offer the following comments regarding H.R. 5722:

  • UMRBA acknowledges the importance of more frequently renewing surface water profiles and flood frequency probabilities to inform risk assessments and systemic and localized planning.
  • UMRBA supports efforts to improve flood protection in certain places given current understandings of flood frequency probabilities and associated impacts.
  • UMRBA’s interpretation of the bill is that levees would be automatically allowed to adjust levee protection without mitigation for impacts onto others. However, UMRBA recognizes that any adjustments to levee heights and placement must abide by applicable state and federal law.  That involves evaluating, acknowledging, and mitigating for any resulting impacts to other areas of the river floodplain. 
  • UMRBA respectfully requests that the bill include language acknowledging that modifications to levee heights and placement must abide by applicable state and federal law.