[audubon-news] Audubon Support for COE Reform Bill

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: #Audubon Board of Directors <IMCEAEX-_O=AUDUBON_OU=NATIONAL_CN=RECIPIENTS_CN=BoardOfDirectors@xxxxxxxxxxx>,#Audubon Staff <audstaff@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 17:50:14 -0500

Contact: Christine Romano


Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 6, 2002 -- Audubon today lauded bipartisan
legislation that would protect the environment by reshaping the work of the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The measure introduced by Senators Robert Smith (R-NH), Russ Feingold
(D-WI), and John McCain (R-AZ) aims to ensure that water resource projects
undertaken by the Corps are based on sound economic and environmental
principles.  Many Corps projects have proven to be destructive to the
environment while providing few actual benefits to the general public.

"Billions of federal taxpayer dollars have been spent on questionable
projects that destroy America's wetlands and degrade our rivers and coastal
areas," said Lois Schiffer, Audubon's senior vice president for public
policy.  "It's time to put the brakes on the senseless destruction of
aquatic wildlife habitat."

The Corps of Engineers Modernization and Improvement Act of 2002 would
create an independent peer review process to examine high-impact projects
such as dams and levees, assessing their fiscal and environmental impacts.
The legislation also 

*       directs the Corps to reassess its current projects and avoid future
ventures without clear financial benefits, 
*       calls on the Corps to show an economic benefit of $1.50 for every
dollar it spends on a project, an increase from the current 1:1 ratio,
*       bars the Corps from including any economic benefits derived from the
destruction of wetlands as it calculates a project's value, and
*       requires local boosters of Corps-managed projects to pay a larger
share of the projects' costs. 

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