May 21, 2019
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today cosponsored the Missouri River Flood Control Prioritization Act, legislation that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove fish and wildlife from the authorized purposes of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System and make flood control the top priority.
“The management of the Missouri River System has completely failed farmers, families, and communities that have repeatedly faced catastrophic flooding since it was implemented,” said Blunt. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to get its priorities straight, and that means putting flood control and navigation first. The river clearly hasn’t been managed in a way that protects people and property, and this bill will change that. We need to move forward before Missourians are faced with another preventable disaster.”
Blunt has long been critical of the way the Missouri River System is managed. Following a March visit to survey flood damage in Atchison and Holt Counties, Blunt called on the Corps to re-prioritize flood control and navigation in its river management. In remarks on the Senate floor, Blunt outlined how the Corps’ focus on fish and wildlife has contributed to recurrent flooding, while providing little certainty that those efforts have been effective.
In March 2018, Blunt praised the U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision finding the Corps liable for historic flooding along the Missouri River based on the management plan that prioritized fish and wildlife over flood management.
The Missouri River Flood Control Prioritization Act was introduced by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (Mo.) in the Senate and companion legislation has been introduced by U.S. Representative Sam Graves (Mo.) in the House.