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June 1, 20011 - ASCE Letter - FY 2012 Appropriations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Civil Works Program

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June 1, 2011

VIA EMAIL

The Hon. Rodney Frelinghuysen                         The Hon. Peter Visclosky
Chairman                                                          Ranking Member 
Subcommittee on Energy                                   Subcommittee on Energy 
        and Water Development                                     and Water Development 
                and Related Agencies                                         and Related Agencies
2362B Rayburn Building                                      2362B Rayburn Building
Washington, D.C. 20515                                     Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:                                            Dear Rep. Visclosky:

I am writing on behalf of the 140,000 members of the American Society of Civil Engineers'
(ASCE) to express our deep concern for the budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Civil Works program for Fiscal Year 2012 contained in the Chairman’s mark of June 1, 2011.

Although a slight improvement on the president’s request, the Chairman’s proposed budget
authority of $4,768,406,000 is inadequate to the task of building and operating a 21st century
waterways infrastructure. If enacted, the appropriation would be a reduction of nearly $90 million
from the FY 2011 budget and more than $600 million below the FY 2010 enacted level.

The Corps of Engineers continues to suffer from many years of under funding for essential
infrastructure systems. If allowed to continue, this trend likely will result in ever greater system
failures and the consequent expenditure of tens of billions of dollars to rebuild what could have
been built more economically in the first instance.

In the face of the Corps’ aging infrastructure needs, the Chairman’s mark for the Civil Works
program in FY 2012 reduces federal investments in essential national infrastructure systems.
Moreover, the trend is likely to worsen in future years. The Corps estimates that its budget
proposals will continue to decline through FY 2015, with a low estimate of $4.5 billion for FY 2013.
The Corps expects that inflation will reduce actual spending on key infrastructure programs by
a further $3 billion over the next five years. ASCE believes that these levels of spending are
insufficient to meet the nation’s security, economic and environmental demands in the 21st
century. We therefore recommend an appropriation of $5,000,000,000 for FY 2012 for this vital program.

Thank you for listening to our concerns. If ASCE can be of any assistance to the Subcommittee in
improving the fiscal picture for the Corps of Engineers, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely yours,

Brian Pallasch
Managing Director
Government Relations and Infrastructure Initiatives