- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosted infrastructure listening sessions on Wednesday, May 2, and Thursday, May 3, at its headquarters here to get stakeholder perspectives on how USACE can better deliver critical infrastructure.
The stakeholder sessions were conducted in support of the administration’s infrastructure efforts. The sessions were designed to engage a diverse group of interested stakeholders and to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute input on ways USACE can streamline permitting and improve project delivery within its current authorities.
Wednesday’s session focused on issues related to water resources, including financial mechanisms such as the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and incentive grants. Thursday’s session focused on permitting practices consistent with the administration’s efforts.
Thirty-seven national-level stakeholder organizations participated in the listening sessions on a non-attribution basis. The organizations represented a wide range of interests including tribal, governmental, ports and waterways, environmental, agricultural, dam and levee safety, flood risk management, shore protection, hydropower and business.
In his opening remarks on Wednesday, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D James noted the importance of the administration’s infrastructure efforts and the recent One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding to advance the nation’s infrastructure and require federal agencies to work collaboratively to make faster infrastructure decisions. “Quit getting all wrapped up in the process,” said James. “Do what’s in the law and get to the result.”
Mr. James C. Dalton, USACE director of Civil Works, also addressed participants saying, “This entire session and the infrastructure initiative are about us getting to a point of producing something, producing it more efficiently and getting more effective results than what we have done in the past and just following process.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been and continues to be part of the federal team assisting the administration with implementing its infrastructure agenda. USACE is working to streamline processes and procedures in an effort to remove roadblocks which delay the implementation of projects.