President's Fiscal 2020 Budget for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program released

Published March 12, 2019

The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020) includes $4.827 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Civil Works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"The Fiscal 2020 Civil Works budget for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reflects the Administration's priorities for water resources infrastructure," said The Honorable Rickey D. (R.D.) James, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.  "This budget will make it possible to accelerate delivery of much needed infrastructure. Infrastructure that protects lives, improves commerce and benefits all Americans,” said James.

New federal funding in the Civil Works budget consists of $3.753 billion from the General Fund of the Treasury, $965 million from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), $56 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF), and an estimated $54 million from Special Recreation User Fees.

The FY 2020 funding will be distributed among the appropriations accounts as follows:

  • $1.930 billion for Operation and Maintenance (O&M)
  • $1.170 billion for Construction
  • $965 million for Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF)
  • $210 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T)
  • $200 million for the Regulatory Program
  • $187 million for Expenses
  •  $77 million for Investigations
  • $56 million for Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)
  • $27 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies
  • $5 million for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works                                                                          

The FY 2020 Budget includes $2.308 billion for the study, design, construction, operation and maintenance of inland and coastal navigation projects.

The FY 2020 Investigations program as a whole is funded at $82 million in the Budget, including $5 million from the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) account, of which $26 million is to fund studies to determine the need, engineering feasibility, and economic, environmental and social return of potential solutions for water and related land resources problems. 

The Investigations account includes funding to complete one preconstruction engineering and design (Mobile Harbor, AL), and three dredged material management plans (Buffalo Harbor, NY, Cleveland Harbor, OH and Corpus Christi Ship Channel, TX). 

The Investigations account also includes $25 million for USACE efforts, in conjunction with state floodplain management authorities, to provide technical and planning assistance to enable local communities to reduce their flood risk, with emphasis on non-structural approaches.  The Budget continues to invest in the development of interagency teams known as Silver Jackets, which work with the states to enable local communities to understand their flood risks and to identify options to help them to manage those risks, with emphasis on non-structural solutions. 

The FY 2020 Construction program as a whole is funded at $1.301 billion in the Budget, including $1.17 billion in the Construction account, $57 million in the MR&T account, $56 million in IWTF, and $18 million in the HMTF.  The Budget uses objective, performance-based guidelines to allocate construction program funding toward the highest performing economic, environmental, and public safety investments.

The Budget promotes increased non-Federal participation in the construction of Civil Works projects, to improve project delivery, and to increase cost savings.  It includes $150 million in the Construction account for the WRRDA 2014 Section 1043 Non-Federal Construction of Federal Projects program, an innovative program under which the Corps would transfer appropriated funds to non-Federal sponsors who decide to construct a project on their own under Section 1043 of WRRDA 2014, as amended. The Budget also proposes to extend this program’s authorization, which currently expires on June 10, 2019. The Budget also provides $150 million in the Construction account for the Innovative Funding Partnerships program.  These funds would be used, in conjunction with funds voluntarily provided by non-Federal interests in excess of the non-Federal sponsor’s statutory cost share requirements, to accelerate the completion of construction of specifically authorized projects. 

The construction program includes nine commercial navigation projects (including one HMTF project and one IWTF project), five aquatic ecosystem restoration projects and programs and four flood risk management projects.

Four construction projects are funded to completion in the FY 2020 Budget.  They include three commercial navigation projects – Charleston Harbor, SC; Locks and Dams 2, 3, and 4, Monongahela River, PA; and Melvin Price Lock and Dam (Deficiency Correction), IL & MO; and one aquatic ecosystem restoration project – Mud Mountain Dam, WA. 

Among the construction projects in the FY 2020 Budget, the 10 highest funded projects are: Charleston Harbor, SC ($138 million); Savannah Harbor Expansion, GA ($130 million); Locks and Dams 2, 3 and 4, Monongahela River, PA ($111 million); Sault Ste Marie (Replacement Lock), MI ($75 million); the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (Everglades), FL ($63 million); Rough River Lake, KY (Major Rehab) ($50 million); American River Common Features, Natomas Basin, CA ($59 million); Lower Mississippi River Mainstem (MR&T) ($57 million); Corpus Christi Ship Channel, TX (Main Channel and Barge Lanes) ($53 million); and Columbia River at the Mouth, OR & WA ($36 million).

The FY 2020 O&M program as a whole is funded at $3.025 billion in the Budget, including $1.930 billion in the O&M account, $947 million in the HMTF account, and $148 million in the MR&T account.  For O&M, the Budget emphasizes performance of existing projects by focusing on supporting current traffic levels at coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic.  It also emphasizes safety improvements at federal dams and levees based on risk, considering the consequences of the most likely failure modes.

The Flood Risk Management program is funded at $1.011 billion in the FY 2020 Budget.  The program is a collaborative effort that integrates and synchronizes the flood risk management projects, programs, and authorities of USACE with those of other federal agencies, state, regional and local agencies.  It helps to reduce the risk of loss of life and property damage from riverine and coastal flooding, and increase the resilience of local communities through structural and non-structural measures.

The Budget gives priority to coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic.  It also provides for the maintenance of channels at small ports, with emphasis on those that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence, or public transportation benefits.

The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund provides $965 million for maintenance work with an emphasis on supporting the transportation of cargo at current levels at the 50 largest U.S. coastal ports, which handle around 90 percent of the waterborne cargo shipped to or from the United States

The FY 2020 Budget again proposes establishing an annual fee to support infrastructure investment and economic growth by helping finance the users’ share of future capital investment, as well as 10 percent of the operation and maintenance cost, associated with the inland waterways. 

The FY 2020 Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration program is funded at $187 million in the Budget. This program supports restoring aquatic habitat in significant ecosystems where the aquatic ecosystem structure, function and processes have been degraded.  USACE will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management to protect and restore these ecosystems.

The FY 2020 Budget funds Recreation at $249 million, including $12 million in the MR&T account.  USACE is one of the nation’s largest providers of federal recreation opportunities, hosting approximately 250 million visits annually at its more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states.

The FY 2020 Regulatory Program is funded at $200 million in the Budget to protect the nation’s waters and wetlands and provide efficiency in permit processing.

Based on USACE’s contribution to the response and recovery of communities after natural disasters strike, and the inevitability that there will be more, the USACE Emergency

Management program is funded at $32 million in FY 2020, with $27 million in the FCCE account for preparedness and training to respond to floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, and $5 million in the O&M account.

The Budget, as it did for Fiscal 2019, proposes to divest the Washington Aqueduct, which is the wholesale water supply system for Washington, D.C.; Arlington County, Virginia; the City of Falls Church, Virginia; and parts of Fairfax County, Virginia, and is the only local water supply system in the nation owned and operated by USACE.

The Budget also proposes to return responsibility for management of the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) back to the Department of Energy (DOE).  The Army Corps would continue to perform cleanup of FUSRAP sites on a reimbursable basis with DOE.  This proposal would enable DOE to consider a broader range of federal cleanup efforts in prioritizing work each year, thereby increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of Federal cleanup efforts.  For these reasons, no funds are included in the Army's Civil Works Budget for FUSRAP.

The FY 2020 Civil Works budget press book is available on the Web at, under the heading Program Budget: Press Books. 

Gene Pawlik
Doug Garman

Release no. 20-034