US Army Corps of Engineers
Pittsburgh District Website

Project Authorities

As detailed on our Missions  page, the Pittsburgh District provides expertise to help the region and the nation meet water resources development, environmental and other engineering needs.   The process for developing Civil Works projects begins when citizens see a need for flood protection, navigation or other water-related infrastructure and asks for help.  Congress directs the Corps of Engineers through authorizations, allowing the Pittsburgh District to offers many programs for helping communities, counties, tribes, and other non-federal governments solve water resource problems.

Most projects require local sponsor cost-sharing. These projects are built with a combination of federal funds and contributions by non-federal sponsors, with the contribution differing by project type. Sponsors can also receive in-kind credit for Generally, the local non-federal sponsor operates and maintains the completed project.

General Investigations

The General Investigation Program, known as the G.I. Program, establishes a process by which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) can help a community solve large, complex water resource problems. Studies under the G.I. Program are authorized by Congress. They address flood risk management, navigation, water supply, recreation, and other needs and opportunities. Through these studies, alternative plans are compared, and favorable and unfavorable characteristics are determined. Costs and benefits are identified, and a specific course of action is recommended to Congress. Congress may then authorize and fund a project for construction. There is no designated limit to the scale, extent, or cost of development that can be proposed as a result of a General Investigations study.

Under the General Investigation Program, the USACE would jointly conduct a study and, if shown by the study to be feasible, construct a project. This approach requires that Congress provide the USACE first with authority to accomplish a feasibility study and second, to construct a project. Local sponsors share the study and construction costs with the USACE, and usually pay for all operation and maintenance costs.

Continuing Authorities

Congress has provided the USACE with a number of standing authorities to study and build water resource projects for various purposes and with specified limits on how much federal money can be spent for a project. The Continuing Authorities Program (also called CAP) is a collection of these authorities established to allow for expedited project development and approval, resulting in a decrease in the amount of time it takes to get smaller, less complex projects constructed. Each of these authorities carries with it pre-approved authority for construction without the need for additional congressional authority, provided the recommended project falls within the parameters of the specific program.

 

Continuing Authorities

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  • Emergency Streambank and Shoreline Protection
    • Authority: Section 14, Flood Control Act of 1946, as amended

      Purpose: Allows for construction of emergency streambank and shoreline protection to prevent erosion from damaging nonprofit public facilities.

      Cost: Cost share for D&I is 65% federal, 35% non-federal.

      Project Limits: Maximum federal share for planning, design and construction is $5,000,000

  • Planning Assistance to States
    • Authority: Section 22, Water Resources Development Act of 1974, as amended

      Purpose: Allows for assistance to states, local governments, and other non-Federal entities and Native American tribes with broad comprehensive water resource planning, including Flood damage reduction, water supply, water conservation, environmental restoration, erosion etc.   Program is for planning studies only, implementation of any recommendations would be the responsibility of the sponsor. 

      Cost: Cost share of 50% federal, 50% non-federal.

      Project Limits: Federal allotments to each state or tribal nation are limited to $2,000,000 annually.  There may be multiple studies

  • Flood Damage Reduction
    • Authority: Section 205, Flood Control Act of 1948, as amended

      Purpose: Allows for construction of projects (structural or nonstructural) to reduce damages caused by flooding and focuses on solving local flood problems in urban areas, towns and villages.

      Cost: Cost share for D&I is 65% federal, 35% non-federal.

      Project Limits: Maximum federal share for planning, design and construction is $10,000,000.

      Fact Sheet and Sample Request Letter

  • Floodplain Management Services Program
    • Authority:  Section 206 of the Flood Control Act of 1960

      Purpose:   Provides technical services and planning guidance to state, regional, and local governments to support effective floodplain management. Types of services include flood hazard evaluation, flood warning and preparedness, and stormwater analysis.

      Cost:   100% Federal

      Fact Sheet and Sample Request Letter

  • Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration
    • Authority: Section 206, Water Resources Development Act of 1996

      Purpose: Allows for structural or operational changes to restore historic habitat conditions of aquatic ecosystems at any location to benefit fish and wildlife resources.

      Cost: Cost share for D&I is 65% federal, 35% non-federal.

      Project Limits: Maximum federal share for planning, design and construction is $10,000,000.

  • Snagging and Clearing for Flood Risk Reduction
    • Authority: Section 208, Flood Control Act of 1954, as amended

      Purpose: Allows for removing accumulated snags and other debris from waterways and to clear stream channels in the interest of flood risk reduction.

      Cost: Cost share for D&I is 65% federal, 35% non-federal.

      Project Limits: Maximum federal share for planning, design and construction is $500,000.

  • Environmental Infratsructure
    • Section 219 Fact Sheet
  • Watershed Planning
    • Section 729 Fact Sheet
  • Project Modifications for Improvement of the Environment
    • Section 1135 Fact Sheet

      Authority: Section 1135, Water Resources Development Act of 1986, as amended

      Purpose: Allows for structural or operational changes to existing Corps projects for restoration or enhancement of environmental values, especially fish and wildlife.

      Cost: Cost share for D&I is 75% federal, 25% non-federal.

      Project Limits: Maximum federal share for planning, design and construction is $10,000,000.

  • Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development
    • Section 7001 Fact Sheet

      Authority:  Section 7001, Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014

      Purpose:  Annual reporting of potential congressional authorization. All non-federal interests are invited to submit proposals for new Corps water resources development project study authority; modifications to an existing Corps water resources development project study authority; modifications to an existing Corps water resources development project authority; and modifications to an existing Corps environmental infrastructure program authority. 

  • Silver Jackets Program
    • About the Silver Jackets Program

      Purpose:   Allows USACE involvement in state-led interagency teams that work to reduce flood risk at the state level. Facilitates strategic flood risk reduction through collaborative solutions.