Weber Statement on Initial Draft of Proposal for Coastal Barrier Protection Plan
Washington, D.C. – The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is currently conducting a five-and-a-half year study on how to best protect the lives and homes of Texans living along the Gulf Coast. Congressman Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) and Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) sponsored legislation directing the Army Corps to expedite that study protecting our Gulf Coast. The Corps released a Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP), and that plan is now undergoing a public comment period. Congressman Weber released the following statement:
“The initial proposal has been released, and there is work to be done. There is clearly a need for protection along the Gulf Coast – we have a lot of people in harm’s way when the next storm surge comes barreling up our coast. The TSP released by the USACE is only a preliminary draft and conversation starter to solicit feedback from our residents and should in no way be considered the final plan.
“While I don’t endorse any specific plan at this time, I am in regular conversation with USACE to better understand the study, plans and impact on our district. I encourage everyone impacted to submit their comments, questions and concerns either in person or online to the Corps. It is vitally important that all who are impacted weigh in on this important issue and that USACE be made well aware of all of our concerns.
“I am hearing a great deal – both from those concerned with where the barrier and levees could be placed, as well as from those supportive of coastal barrier protection. I am listening to everyone and appreciate everyone’s input. I am particularly concerned with any potential use of eminent domain. Only through thoughtful, robust, productive conversations will we get the best system to protect our children, our families, our lives, and our homes.
“Please be assured: This is one of my top priorities. I am tracking the progress of this plan very closely. The TSP is the first iteration of the plan; it will not be the last. I cannot stress how important your opinion is as we aim toward a workable plan to protect our way of life.
“As these important conversations progress, leading to new and improved plans based on everyone’s comments, I will continue listening to all residents and working with all involved to make sure we are all better protected from the next big storm.”