September 19, 2019

Van Hollen Secures Key Committee Support for Funding to Help Local Flood Mitigation Efforts

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) has announced the passage of funding to support local flood mitigation efforts within legislation approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Van Hollen, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, fought to include this funding which Maryland communities, such as Ellicott City, can apply for.

“Across our state, we’ve seen homes damaged, roads ruined, and businesses shuttered due to flooding. These severe weather events continue to hurt Maryland families, small businesses, and ultimately our economy. Investing in local flood mitigation efforts will help our communities – like Ellicott City – prepare for and combat future flooding. These funds will provide a boost in the resources available to local communities and will foster partnership with the Army Corps. I will keep working to support efforts across Maryland to prevent and mitigate flooding whenever possible and support communities that have been impacted by floods.” said Senator Van Hollen.

“After two devastating floods in Ellicott City, our community has united to stand strong in the face of adversity and prepare for the next storm. Following the example of neighbors helping neighbors, our local government has partnered with our state and federal leaders to keep our town safe,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I want to thank Senator Van Hollen for championing our cause at the federal level and securing significant funding for studies and projects to reduce flood damage. In conjunction with our ‘Safe and Sound’ plan to mitigate flooding, his leadership remains critical to our collective efforts to safeguard our future and support the resilience of Ellicott City.”

Included within the Senate Appropriations-passed legislation were the Senator’s provisions to:

  • Provide $8 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to partner with local entities to plan and construct flood damage reduction projects. This is an increase of $7 million over the President’s Budget.
  • Provide $9 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to provide state and local entities with assistance in coordinating studies with other agencies for the development of water infrastructure plans, including flood damage reduction plans. This is an increase of $4 million over the President’s Budget.
  • Encourage the Department of Transportation to conduct structural evaluations of flood-damaged pavements, with an emphasis on local roads and highways subject to flooding and extended periods of inundation, in order to better understand how permeable pavements and other technologies night be used to prevent or reduce damage.
  • Encourage the research, demonstration, and deployment of permeable pavements in areas like Ellicott City in order to address stormwater runoff.

Funding from both of the Army Corps programs can assist the Baltimore District with their efforts to provide flood protection assistance to Ellicott City in Howard County, Md.

The provisions were included within the Energy and Water Appropriations bill and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. These bills will now move to the floor of the Senate for a vote before the full chamber.