Congressman Cohen Questions Experts About Priorities for Upcoming Water Resources Development Act

January 12, 2022
Press Release
Highlights support for damming of the Wolf River Harbor

MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, today discussed Memphis’ priorities for the upcoming Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and questioned expert witnesses about considering climate change and environmental justice impacts during the nationwide permitting process. The hearing was entitled “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2022: Administration Priorities.”

Congressman Cohen noted his intent to include language to deauthorize a section of Wolf River Harbor and create a lake near Mud Island, which has been identified by the City of Memphis as significant priority to transform the area from industrial to recreational. He also noted that the Byhalia Connection pipeline, which would have crossed historic Southwest Memphis neighborhoods using a nationwide permit from the Corps, was fortunately stopped by a grassroots effort, but he expressed concern about the continued use of nationwide permits and asked whether community input, climate change and environmental justice considerations were weighed in the decisions to issue the latest slew of nationwide permits.

See Congressman Cohen’s line of questioning at the hearing here.

Witnesses at today’s hearing were:

  • The Honorable Michael L. Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Department of the Army; and
  • Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers