WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) is urging his colleagues this week to help clear the way for new Army Corps of Engineers flood mitigation projects, including those that would help reduce the extensive flooding Fairfield County experiences as a result of severe storms. During consideration of the FY14 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, Himes engaged Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) in a formal dialogue known as a “colloquy.” Himes pressed Frelinghuysen and Kaptur to work with him to end the backlog of Army Corps projects so that new projects could commence.

Click here to watch the exchange. A transcript of the discussion follows this release.

“I think I speak for all of us when I say that a well-funded Army Corps means good jobs and important infrastructure improvements in the regions helped by their projects. Of particular interest to me is the special role the Army Corps plays in mitigating the effects of floods caused by severe weather events on our communities,” Himes said. “We must find a way to begin new projects and ensure that our cities and towns, like those in Fairfield County, are prepared for the next big storm.”

In 2010, Himes secured authorizations for the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct flood mitigation studies in Fairfield and New Haven Counties, which would culminate in important recommendations for preventing future flood damages like those that occurred during Superstorm Sandy. The current backlog at the Corps means it is unlikely these studies or any other new projects will receive the funding they need to move forward.