The Water Resources Development Act provides authority for the Corps of Engineers to assist the states, local governments, Native American tribes, and other entities in the preparation of comprehensive plans for the development, utilization and conservation of water and related land resources.
The Planning Assistance to States (PAS) Program is funded annually by Congress. Federal allotments for each state and tribe from the nationwide appropriation are limited to $500,000 annually, but typically are much less. Individual studies, of which there may be more than one per state or tribe per year, generally cost $25,000 to $75,000. These studies are cost-shared on a 50 percent federal and 50 percent non-federal basis. The non-federal sponsor can provide half of their share as work-in-kind. A cost sharing agreement documents the specific scope of work and responsibilities of the Corps and the sponsor.
The need for planning assistance is determined by the states and tribes. Every year, each state and Indian tribe can provide the Corps of Engineers its request for studies, and the Corps then accommodates as many studies as possible within the funding allotment. Studies usually provide a planning level of detail; and do not typically include design for project construction. The studies generally involve analysis of existing data for planning purposes using standard engineering techniques although some data collection may be necessary. Most studies become the basis for local planning decisions.
The program can encompass many types of studies dealing with water and land related resources issues. Studies conducted in recent years have addressed water supply and demand, water quality, floodplain management, coastal zone management and protection, harbor and port development, and master planning.
How to Request Assistance
State, local government and tribal officials who are interested in obtaining planning assistance can contact the New Orleans District PAS Coordinator: