WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) issued the following statement after receiving a resolution of appreciation from the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District (NRD) Board of Directors for her assistance in navigating the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) 408 permitting process:

“I was happy to assist the Papio-Missouri River NRD in obtaining the long-awaited permit to upgrade the Missouri River Levee Systems. Navigating the Corps’ cumbersome permitting process is challenging, but working with the NRD, we cut through this red tape to help protect Offutt Air Force Base from harmful flooding. I look forward to the completion of updated levee system.”

For eight years, the Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District (NRD) worked with the Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District Office to obtain a Section 408 permit to begin improvements on the Missouri River Levees to protect Offutt Air Force Base from flooding. The Corps requires a Section 408 permit when local, non-Federal parties make improvements, repairs, or alterations to Civil Works projects.  

In January 2018, the Papio-Missouri NRD informed Senator Fischer about the challenges the NRD was facing to obtain a Section 408 permit from the Corps. The NRD noted that due to the lack of the 408 permit, the Missouri River Levee project was delayed by eight years and was costing local taxpayers over $6 million.

At a Senate EPW hearing in January 2018, Senator Fischer questioned the Chief of Engineers for the Corps, Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, about the NRD’s 408 permit challenges. Senator Fischer continued to press the issue with the new Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, R.D. James, in May 2018 at another EPW hearing. Finally, after years of missed deadlines and increased costs, the Papio-Missouri NRD received its Section 408 permit from the Corps on June 30, 2018. 

*Click here to read the Papio-Missouri River NRD’s resolution of appreciation*