Contact: Christine Romano 202/861-2242 cromano@xxxxxxxxxxx AUDUBON APPLAUDS BIPARTISAN CORPS REFORM BILL 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. # # # You are subscribed to Audubon-News. To unsubscribe, send email to audubon-news-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. To adjust other settings (vacation, digest, etc.) please visit, http://www.freelists.org/list/audubon-news.