UMRBA Channel Maintenance Issue Assessment

February 1, 2016

Increasingly in recent years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has undertaken emergency measures to reopen or maintain the navigation channel as a result of channel conditions. UMRBA asserts that these situations are compounded by lack of proactive, strategic channel maintenance planning to address issues that have been building for decades. Emergency situations place the states in a difficult, reactive position of having to expedite environmental reviews in order to issue required permits, as well as providing important information about biota impacts. Challenges associated with escalating severity of flood and drought conditions, sedimentation, costs, and limited disposal sites will continue to increase over time. District staff have done a tremendous job of working within these constraints to maintain a safe and reliable navigation system. However, UMRBA is concerned with the Corps’ ability to continue to effectively respond to such situations in the near and long-term without the strategic channel maintenance plans in place.