Peterson, Vilsack Announce $12 Million to Address Valley Flooding

Jan 15, 2015 Issues: Congressional Issues

WASHINGTON – Congressman Collin C. Peterson joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today to announce that the Red River Valley of the North will receive $12 million from USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to address water storage and retention in the Valley. Peterson was instrumental in securing this funding, playing a key role in the creation of the RCPP which was included in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“This is great news for the Valley,” Peterson said. “This funding will enable us to get to work and make these water retention projects a reality, putting us one step closer to actually addressing water issues in the Red River Valley.”

“Today’s announcement will help us work with local partners in the Red River Basin to address the unique conservation challenges this area faces,” Vilsack said. “These investments, along with other USDA resources dedicated in 2014, will help reduce flooding and mitigate the damage repeated flooding creates, which ultimately helps boost the region’s economy. We’re glad to be partnering with Congressman Peterson and local conservation leaders on these important projects.”

The funding will help complete projects outlined by the Red River Retention Authority and submitted to USDA. Potential projects identified by the Red River Retention Authority include work on the Maple River Dam and the Redpath Project in the Bois de Sioux Watershed District.

“RCPP builds on the success we’ve had with existing conservation programs to support water retention and address flooding in the region. These efforts will also lead to improved water quality and increased wildlife habitat,” Peterson said.

The $12 million in RCPP funds will be used to carry out PL-566 Small Watershed Program projects. Today’s announcement follows a previous USDA commitment in the Valley of $50 million in conservation program funding through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Agricultural Conservation Easements Program (ACEP), to address water issues.

In the coming weeks, the Red River Retention Authority will meet with USDA officials to determine what projects included in their RCPP application will be addressed with this funding.