Hurricane Katrina sparked planning overhaul at Army Corps

By Annie Snider | 02/16/2024 06:22 AM EST

The proposed rule would require the Army Corps of Engineers to consider a range of alternative options for addressing a given problem and to identify the option that would be best for the environment and the one that would deliver the biggest net benefit to the public.

The Biden administration proposed a rule Thursday aimed at elevating ecological considerations in the planning and design of projects meant to protect communities from floods and storms.

The regulatory proposal, which would govern Army Corps of Engineers projects, comes more than 15 years after Congress first directed the agency to think harder about what it builds in flood-prone areas in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
regulatory proposal

It is the latest in a series of moves from the Biden administration aiming to elevate ecosystem considerations in federal decisionmaking that has historically been driven by cost-benefit analyses. But, given the length of the regulatory process, finalizing it would almost certainly require a second Biden term.
aiming to elevate ecosystem considerations


“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking a long-anticipated step forward to modernize water resource planning by more fully considering public benefits such as environmental, ecosystem, and social needs of communities and to better address community resilience,” Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory said in a statement.