To the Congress of the United States:
During the campaign I committed myself to a prudent and responsible use of the taxpayers' money and to protection of the environment. Today I am announcing a major review of water resource projects which will further both commitments.
Water development projects have played a critical role in developing the economy of this nation. But many of the 320 current projects approved in the past under different economic circumstances and at times of lower interest rates are of doubtful necessity now, in light of new economic conditions and environmental policies. At this point, based upon information thus far developed by the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Management and Budget and' the Interior Department, I have identified 19 projects which now appear unsupportable on economic, environmental, and/or safety grounds. I have attached a list of these projects. I am recommending at this time that no funds be provided for these projects in FY 1978.
I am instructing Secretary of the Interior Andrus and Secretary of the Army Alexander, working together with the Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality, to carry out a complete evaluation of these 19 projects and of all other water resource projects and to develop comprehensive policy reforms in this critical area. They will report back to me and to the Congress by April 15.
This review will give us the necessary facts upon which to make certain that only projects which are economically and environmentally sound will receive final approval. The FY 1978 budget reductions for the deleted projects amount to $289 million. Total potential savings from these deleted projects would amount to $5.1 billion.
I look forward to working closely with Congress to develop a coherent water resource policy.
We must work together to achieve our national goals of adequate water supplies, a sound transportation system and needed flood protection. In doing so, we must make certain that our investments are cost-effective, that the cost burdens are equitably borne, and that the environment is protected.
The White House,
February 21, 1977.
WATER PROJECTS DELETED FROM
FY 1978 BUDGET
(Alphabetical by State)
Corps of Engineers
Cache Basin (Arkansas)
Richard B. Russell Project (Georgia)
Grove Lake (Kansas)
Paintsville Lake (Kentucky)
Yatesville Lake (Kentucky)
Atchafalaya River & Bayous Chene, Boeuf & Black (Louisiana)
Dickey-Lincoln School Lakes (Maine)
Meramec Park Lake (Missouri)
Lukfata Lake (Oklahoma)
Bureau of Reclamation
Central Arizona Project (Arizona)
Auburn-Folsom South, Central Valley Project (California)
Fruitland Mesa (Colorado)
Savery-Pot Hook (Colorado, Wyoming)
Garrison Diversion Unit (North Dakota, South Dakota)
Oahe Unit (South Dakota)
Central Utah Project, Bonneville Unit (Utah)