Missouri River Association of States and Tribes

Update regarding Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study (MRAPS)

December 1st, 2010 | Posted by David Pope in News | Newsletter

In 2008, MoRAST requested a study to determine whether changes are needed to the authorized purposes of the 1944 Flood Control Act in order to best meet the contemporary needs of the Missouri River Basin, because the physical, economic and environmental conditions have significantly changed since 1944. MRAPS was authorized by Congress in March of 2009 and formally initiated by the USACE in October of 2009. In early 2010, A Situation Assessment was developed to provide recommendations to the USACE on how best to engage the Tribes and public during the study. The USACE, with assistance of the USBR, then held a series of 31 public meetings and 11 Tribal focus meetings between May and September of 2010 to obtain input regarding the scope of the study. MoRAST provided written comments regarding the scope of study including a detailed list of questions for potential consideration during the study that can be found at the MoRAST website. It is expected that a draft scoping report will be released in early 2011. Comments submitted by various parties, meeting announcements and other information about MRAPS and the Pick-Sloan Program can be found on the MRAPS website at:  http://www.mraps.org/

The purpose of the study is to review the original project purposes of the 1944 FCA and other subsequent and relevant legislation and judicial rulings to determine if changes to the authorized project purposes and existing Federal water resource infrastructure may be warranted. Both the USACE and the USBR operate projects originally constructed as a part of the Pick-Sloan Program authorized by the 1944 FCA. According to the Supplemental Implementation Guidance dated January 6, 2010, the study approach will follow the USACE six step planning process. A decision document will be prepared in compliance with NEPA and other applicable laws with comprehensive public participation for approval of the USACE Headquarters and the Assistant Secretary of Army (CW). MoRAST expects the study will provide objective information and recommendations from which interested parties and ultimately Congress can consider whether changes should be made to the 1944 FCA. Additional background information and documents related to the study can be found at:  http://www.mraps.org/documents.

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