Cooper’s Flood Control Bill Set to Become Law

Dec 11, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – This week the House passed a final bill with language originally introduced by Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) that would expedite a feasibility study of Old Hickory Dam and Cordell Hull Dam, both upstream of Nashville, to include flood risk management as one of their authorized purposes.

“A decade ago, all of Nashville - East, West, South, and North Nashville - suffered a devastating flood, costing more than two dozen lives and billions of dollars in damages,” Rep. Jim Cooper said. “To mitigate the chance of future flooding we need to allow the two Army Corps of Engineers-operated dams that are directly upstream from Nashville, namely Old Hickory and Cordell Hull, to be used for flood risk management. Contrary to common sense these dams today may not be used for flood control, even in emergencies, unless they have previously been congressionally authorized to do so.”

The language was included in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which is the omnibus legislation authorizing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) civil works activities. The House passed its original version in July; the Senate now needs to pass the final bipartisan agreement, which is expected, before sending the bill to the President’s desk for his signature.

Cooper previously thanked Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (OR-04) and Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chair Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) for their efforts on this bill.