Great Falls Tribune: Great Falls legislator speaks at Senate session on levee requirements

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Montana state lawmaker, Rep. Bob Mehlhoff of Great Falls, spoke Wednesday to the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee at the request of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

Mehlhoff, a Democrat, expressed alarm at the prospect of communities being forced to foot the bill for expensive certification of flood levees or face dramatic increases in flood insurance rates.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has refused to continue carrying out certifications of levees, citing a lack of funds.

“What I see as a solution to this is the Corps of Engineers needs to take over responsibility for levee certification,” Mehlhoff told the committee. “The Corps has the data all the way back to the construction of our two levee systems in Cascade County, plus data from annual and periodic inspections.

“Local levee district elected officials need to be given back their original responsibility of overseeing levee maintenance only,” Mehlhoff added.

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