Page images
PDF
EPUB

inconsistency. That is why we are working together; to come out with a proper answer which we think the committee will approve. Senator KNOWLAND. You may proceed.

General STURGIS. Practices of the several agencies with regard to economic analysis are under consideration in the Bureau of the Budget and the Federal Interagency River Basin Caminittee. and among the agencies themselves. In December 1952, the Burean of the Budget promulgated Budget Circular A-47 for general Federal use. The Corps of Engineers put this circular into effect by directive to our field offices last spring for use in all future survey reports.

Senator KNOWLAND. General, I have an appointment I made earlier. With the bipartisan cooperation that has already existed on this committee, I will ask Senator McClellan to preside during my absence.

Senator McCLELLAN. General, you may proceed.

General STURGIS. We recently submitted our comments to the Bureau of the Budget on desirable changes; that is, slight modifications of the method which we think are sounder, and I believe the Bureau of the Budget will accept them.

Without doubt, good progress is being made toward full coordination in this important aspect of the water resources program.

LOCAL PARTICIPATION IN PROJECT COSTS

Local participation in project costs is another field for improvement, in which the committee was interested, that has had intensive attention since last spring. We have prepared, and the Secretary of the Army has submitted to the Bureau of the Budget, a study of this matter and proposals which would increase substantially the local participation in local flood-control projects, particularly where large land enhancement benefits accrue locally.

We have also submitted specific proposals for increasing the local participation on certain types of navigation projects. These are ad mittedly only first steps, but significant ones, toward solution of a very complex matter.

Senator ROBERTSON. One of the items you considered in the Gathright Dam was the prevention of floods at Lynchburg and especially the little island in the James River, which is not very much above normal water but where two large industrial plants are located. Does this new look at this thing contemplate that maybe with respect to the Gathright Dam you could approach the city of Lynchburg and the industries there to see what they would be willing to contribute in return for flood control at Lynchburg?

General Sturgis. No, sir. We have not gone that far as far as reservoir benefits are concerned because they are generally so widespread that it is impossible to arrive at a proper method of allocation of those benefits. It would be a very complex subject. Supposing we take a dam in the upper Ohio. The effect of that dam might be felt appreciably through several States. With all the communities involved, I am sure you could appreciate the complexity.

What we had in mind was a project like a local levee project that is built to protect one particular community, where there is no question or complexity in the allocation of costs and the recognition of the benefits. It is in that field we have made our recommendations.

Senator McC'LELLAN. That would be particularly true, like a wall or a levee, to protect a city or some particular industrial area. That

is what you have in mind, that you think local-benefits contributions should be required because the benefits are local.

MEMPHIS HARBOR PROJECT

Senator ROBERTSON. Two years ago we had the specific problem for the city of Memphis where they wanted to change a channel of the river. They built one bridge and the river left it, and the bridge did not cross anything.

Senator McCLELLAN. It was not at Memphis, was it?
Senator ROBERTSON. Yes.
Senator McCLELLAN. I am thinking about the Decatur Bridge.

Senator ROBERTSON. We had one at Memphis, too, did we not, General?

General CHORPENING. I do not recall, sir.

Senator ROBERTSON. Certainly there was some situation there about the sewage system.

Senator MCCLELLAN. That was in connection with the Memphis Harbor.

General STURGIS. Memphis would be the type of project with which there was some local contributions. But if not, that would be the type that would definitely come within the purview of our proposed increase in local cooperation.

Senator HOLLAND. I would like to ask the general a question.

First, I thoroughly approve of the restudy of that question so that costs may be apportioned as nearly as possible between the Federal Government and the local governments in accord with a sound basis of benefits. I approve of the idea that land enhancement benefits-and that is what you are talking about here, in general—are a feature which needs to be restudied in this reapportionment process. The thing I want to address myself to is this: Do you have in mind changing such allocation between Federal and State and local governments in the case of projects where not only authorizations are outstanding but where the construction is underway, or is it as to later projects or as to later authorizations on large projects where they have been only partially authorized up to date?

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN FLORIDA PROJECT

Before you answer, I want to make it clear I have in mind particularly the central and southern Florida project on which there is only a very partial authorization at present which calls for State action, which was taken in accordance with the recommendation of the engineers, and the legislation passed here approving the recommendation of the engineers. I have no objection to the study of the question, and if there is a fairer way to allocate as to authorizations in the future, which will be very large in that project, I see no reason why that fairer basis should not be followed. But I would question the right to upset authorizations already made, both by Federal Government and State Government on which construction is considerably advanced.

The purpose of my question is to discover whether or not you propose to reallocate in such a case or only as to future authorizations and construction based on future authorizations.

QUESTION OF RETROACTIVENESS

General STURGIS. As I say in my statement, legislation will be required. The question as to retroactiveness is something I feel is beyond our authority to recommend because that involves questions of agreements already made. I would not like to recommend those changes, but I would say it would be within the purview of Congress if retroactive steps are to be taken.

Senator McCLELLAN. Would this be a fair statement: that projects that are now authorized and have been authorized upon which construction is not started and no appropriation has been for construction, those could be subject to review and a modification of the authorization so as to require local contributions or local assistance; whereas a project that has heretofore been authorized and appropriations have already been made for its construction, you would not apply that to those, I assume.

General STURGIS. No, sir.

Senator McCLELLAN. Particularly if construction were already advanced. It would completely upset the situation.

Senator ROBERTSON. I assume the new look would especially apply to the project which has never been authorized, which involves pumping water uphill into the Big Sandy to give enough water to float coal down from some of the mines in Kentucky to Cincinnati on the assumption it would be 50 cents a ton cheaper that way than the railroads. But if they have to pay anything to get that expensive project figured, they might decide they are satisfied to ship it by railroad.

Senator HOLLAND. Let me clarify the position so there can be no question about it. I think that as to the later stages of authorization, even in the central and south Florida area, if there is a fairer rule than that which has heretofore been recommended by the engineers and now appears in the light of new facts, I think Congress has a perfect right to follow that fairer rule in the later authorizations. But I do not so feel about the original authorization on which not only has the State acted, and as General Sturgis knows, is away ahead of the Federal Government in meeting its part of the contributions required, but on which both State and Federal Governments have made heavy appropriations and on which construction is underway,

The people in my State have been confused hearing about this study for reallocation. Some are stating that the study is applicable to this old authorization of phase one. My feeling has been that the engineers in no sense intended to upset an agreement based on their own recommendation which has already been acted upon by the Congress and the State government in the way that I have indicated.

Senator MCCLELLAN. Which is in process of execution.

Senator HOLLAND. Yes. I believe the general has stated there is no intent to upset such an agreement.

POSSIBLE RECONSIDERATION OF LOCAL COOPERATION General Sturgis. No, sir. I spoke earlier in my statement of the more or less new philosophies that are evolving. That is only natural. We are sensitive to them. For the reason we are sensitive to them we have made and submitted, in accordance with expressions indirectly by Congress last year, some reconsideration of the matter of

areas.

local cooperation. But it would seem to me that where a bargain has been reached and construction begun-it would not be equitable to change that arrangement.

Senator HOLLAND. To make it specific, as applied to the central and south Florida area, you recognize the approval given by Congress and by the State legislature is solely to phase one, which is about onethird of the project, is that right? General CHORPENING. Yes, sir. Senator HOLLAND. The other two-thirds of the project has not been authorized either by Congress nor by the State legislature, nor have funds been supplied. But construction on phase one is relatively far advanced under funds supplied by both the Federal Government and the State, and supplemented by ad valorem taxes raised by the local

It is my feeling that by no means do you intend to upset this first one-third which has been authorized and which is under way, but that what you have in mind is finding, if possible, a more equitable recommendation to make as to the later two-thirds. Is that correct or incorrect?

General STURGIS. That is the sense of our recommendation. But of course all we do is submit it to the Bureau of the Budget, final action is up to the Bureau of the Budget and Congress.

Senator HOLLAND. I want to say for the record that I would have no objection to it at all if there is a more equitable rule. The State would expect equity to prevail. As to the later two-thirds, if there is a better rule, that is fine. We would be greatly disturbed if there was any intent to upset what has been acted upon with such solemnity by both governments and what is well advanced in construction by funds supplied by both governments.

General Sturgis. I might say, though, as Senator McClellan said, that in connection with certain authorized projects where local interests have not yet put up their money and where no appropriation has been made, those projects, even though authorized, could be reviewed to see what application could be made.

Senator MCCLELLAN. Then it would probably require legislative modification of the authorization to conform to the new policy.

Senator HOLLAND. I think that, too, is fair. I think if we are safeguarding the Federal interests, we would all have to recognize that is fair. I think the Federal Government wants to recognize obligations which it has made with the States and with local agencies just like a private individual would. For that reason, I want it to be thoroughly understood by our people that it is not intended to upset the action heretofore taken on which work is underway and far advanced on phase one of the central and south Florida project which embraces about one-third of the total expense of the project.

General Sturgis. Many additional interests will have to be heard and their views considered. Ultimately, legislation may be required to change the existing patterns. I want to state clearly that to the extent there is a Federal interest, the corps believes firmly in the principle of appropriate Federal assistance in river development; but also we believe in a partnership with local interests who should assume the costs in relation to the benefits received by them insofar as this is practicable of accomplishment.

42592-545

INTEGRATED PROGRAM

Going on with our compliance with the issues expressed or indirectly indicated by the Congress, careful attention is being given by our Department and the other agencies in the water-resources field, to the question of integrated programs. I feel that real advances are being made. Notable

examples are the Arkansas-White-Red and the New England-New York surveys with which you are familiar. We are also just now completing a study of the Middle Snake River in full collaboration with the Department of the Interior.

Secretary Stevens and I have established a systematic series of discussions with the Secretary and Assistant Secretaries of the Interior, and a number of conferences have been held with the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and high officials of the Bureau of the Budget, all directed toward better coordination of our agencies and more effective planning and development of our great systems.

The large bulk of the apparent backlog of authorized projects has given much concern to the Corps of Engineers for several years past, and has been the subject of comment in several reports of congressional committees.

TOTAL PROJECTS AUTHORIZED

Senator ROBERTSON. It runs into billions. Can you give a general estimate of how many billions have been authorized? We hear a lot of talk about that, and some of them are 10 years or more old.

Senator McCLELLAN. Let me clarify that, please. Do you mean on which construction has not yet started?

Senator ROBERTSON. No, not on those on which construction has started, but just on the authorization program.

General STURGIS. Those projects that have been actually authorized and constitute our backlog approximately amount to $8,489,200,000.

Senator ROBERTSON. That is what I thought. Since no projects were authorized, the cost of construction has materially changed. You have just mentioned the need for coordinated projects, and there was no definite planning about coordination when a lot of these projects were authorized.

In what way will you present to the Congress a list of what you would call dead wood' in that $8 billion plus program that ought to be deauthorized and get that out of our hair?

General STURGIS. I am very glad you ask that question because that is exactly what I am going to discuss, the action we have taken.

Senator McCLELLAN. Just for clarification, you mean this $8 billion plus in projects is the total that has been authorized on which no construction has been initiated and for which no appropriation has yet been made?

General STURGIS. Yes, sir.
Senator McCLELLAN. I just wanted it clear.

General Sturgis. Some reports have also indicated a belief that the legislative committees do not have sufficient continuing opportunity for scrutiny and control of the civil-works program. We acted last summer to propose definite procedures to improve both of these conditions.

Senator HOLLAND. To whom was your proposal made ?

« PreviousContinue »