Mast Pushing Army Corps to Work on Southern Reservoir
U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today sent a letter, joined by 32 other Members of Congress, to President Donald J. Trump calling on him to nominate a permanent Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to oversee the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps is currently overseen by an Acting Assistant Secretary who has not been confirmed by the Senate.
In the letter, Rep. Mast calls for the President to nominate “an outsider who recognizes the need for transformational change within the Corps, and who is willing to work with Congress to make those changes come to fruition.” Rep. Mast has been pushing the Army Corps to collaborate with South Florida Water Management District on implementing State Senate Bill 10 to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.
The text of the letter is below.
July 26, 2017
The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump,
As members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, we write in support of swift action to nominate an Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works (ASA-CW) to lead the critical missions of the Army Corps of Engineers – Civil Works (Corps).
The Corps has a significant role to play in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. The agency owns and operates more than 600 dams, operates and maintains 25,000 miles of commercial navigation channels, maintains more than 900 coastal and inland harbors, and is integrally involved in much of the regulatory processes that must be followed and completed before projects can move forward.
We believe that streamlining much of the Corps’ regulatory responsibilities can save taxpayers millions of dollars and help get projects off the ground and completed much more quickly. While Congress will have the opportunity to make such changes in statute, we embrace the opportunity to work with your administration and particularly a new ASA-CW to improve the implementation of existing regulations and permissions related to infrastructure projects.
We also have concerns that, under the previous administration, the Corps began to move away from its true missions, placing less priority on actually building projects and enabling private investment in infrastructure to move forward. It is therefore of great importance that the new ASA-CW is an outsider who recognizes the need for transformational change within the Corps, and who is willing to work with Congress to make those changes come to fruition.
We share your goal of making significant investments in our nation’s infrastructure, and look forward to working with you to that end. In order to ensure the most prudent and efficient use of taxpayer dollars on much of these critical investments, we respectfully ask that you move expeditiously to nominate an ASA-CW.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this important matter.