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Planning Assistance to States and Tribes

The needed planning assistance is determined by the individual State or Native American Tribe.  Every year, each state, tribal nation, local government, or other non-federal entity can provide the Corps of Engineers its request for studies under the program, and the Corps of Engineers then accommodates as many studies as possible within the funding allotment. Studies are only planning level of detail; they do not include detailed design for project construction.  The studies generally involve the analysis of existing data for planning purposes, using standard engineering techniques, although some data collec­tion is often necessary.  Most studies become the basis for state, tribal nation and local planning decisions.
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The program can encompass many types of studies dealing with water and related land
resource issues. Types of studies conducted in recent years under the program include the following:

  • Water Supply and Demand Studies
  • Water Quality Studies
  • Environmental Conservation Studies
  • Environmental Restoration Studies
  • Wetland Evaluation Studies
  • Dam Safety/Failure Studies
  • Flood Risk Management Studies
  • Floodplain Management Studies
  • Land Use Studies
  • Master Planning
  • Brownfields Environmental Assessments
  • GIS Development

Congress funds the Planning Assistance to States and Tribes Program annually. Federal allotments for each state or tribal nation from the nationwide appropriation are limited to $500,000 annually, but typically are much less. Individual studies, of which there may be more than one per state or tribal nation per year, generally range in cost from $25,000 to over $100,000. These studies are cost shared on a 50 percent federal, 50 percent non-federal basis. 25 percent of the non-federal cost share can be provided as work-in-kind.

Planning Assistance to States and Tribes

Under the authority provided by Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 (PL 93-251), as amended, the Corps of Engineers can provide states, local governments, other non-Federal entities, and eligible Native American Indian tribes assistance in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, utilization, and conservation of water and related land resources.  Typical studies are only planning level of detail; they do not include detailed design for project construction.  The program can encompass many types of studies dealing with water resources issues.  Types of studies conducted in recent years under the program include the following:  water supply/demand, water conservation, water quality, environmental/conservation, wetlands evaluation/restoration, dam safety/failure, flood damage reduction, coastal zone protection, and harbor planning.

There are two types of efforts available through the PAS program as described below.

 

Comprehensive Plans:
Assistance to a State or a partner working with the State in development of a Comprehensive Plans include planning for the development, utilization, and conservation of the water and related resources of drainage basins, watersheds, or ecosystems located within the boundaries of that State, including plans to comprehensively address water resources challenges such as the state water plan.  Comprehensive plans can extend across state boundaries provided both States agree. 

Comprehensive planning activities through the PAS program are cost shared (50 per cent) with the study partner, and voluntarily contributed funds in excess of cost share may be provided by the non-Federal partner.  The non-Federal cost share for preparation of a state comprehensive water resources plan may be provided by funds or through the provision of services, materials, supplies, or other in-kind services. 

 

Technical Assistance:
Technical Assistance provided through the PAS program includes support of planning efforts related to the management of state water resources, including the provision and integration of hydrologic, economic, or environmental data and analysis in support of the State’s water resources management and related land resources development plans identified in the state water plan or other water resources management related state planning documents, such as state hazard mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery plans and plans associated with changing hydrologic conditions, climate change, long-term sustainability, and resilience.  

Technical assistance activities through the PAS program are cost shared (50 per cent) with the study partner, and voluntarily contributed funds in excess of cost share may be provided by the non-Federal partner.  The cost-share for technical assistance must be provided by funds (not in-kind).

 

Study Process.  The process for PAS investigations begins after a state, regional, local government, or Native American Indian tribe requests Corps of Engineers assistance under the program.  The Corps of Engineers will work with the requesting organization to develop a scope of work and assemble the appropriate study team for the effort being requested.  Once a scope of work has been developed, a cost sharing letter agreement will be prepared and sent to the sponsor for their signature.  Once the both parties have signed the agreement, the study may begin, subject to the availability of both Federal and local funding.

 

How to Request Assistance.  Requests for assistance should be in the form of a letter that includes the location and nature of the problem to be investigated. The request should be submitted by a state, local government agency, or eligible Native American Indian tribe to ################# 

 

Corps Planning:  Planning Assistance to States Fact Sheet

Sample Request Letter for Planning Assistance to the States

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