Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Calls on Army Corps to Extend Public Comment Period for Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Report
Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) called on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to extend the public comment period for the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Report, which was made available last Friday. The report evaluates both upstream and downstream alternative plans to reduce flood risk, including increased conveyance along Buffalo Bayou, added storage upstream, and real estate acquisition. The public comment period is currently scheduled to end on November 2, 2020; however, given the limitations on communications because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the prohibition on certain communications prior to the election, Congresswoman Fletcher is calling on USACE to extend the comment period for an additional 30 days to December 2, 2020.
“In our district, the issue of managing flooding is of paramount importance. It is important to me to amplify your efforts to receive public comment on the proposed alternative and to hear from my constituents about their views on these potentially transformative efforts,” Congresswoman Fletcher said in the letter. “While the release of this Interim Report was necessary as soon as it became available, its release during the pandemic and in close proximity to the election, during which all members of Congress are prohibited from sending certain unsolicited communications to constituents (‘the blackout period’), makes it difficult to ensure that interested parties are able to engage in the process and warrants an extension of the 30-day review period.”
She continued: “I believe that USACE would appreciate and support efforts to reach as many interested parties as possible and to build consensus while keeping this project on schedule.”
The Interim Report and public comment form is available here. After the end of the public comment period, USACE will evaluate public feedback and incorporate into a Draft Report, to be followed by another period of public comment before the Final Chiefs’ Report is submitted to Congress.
This study was authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and is performed in collaboration with the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) as USACE’s local sponsor.
Congresswoman Fletcher’s letter to USACE can be found here.