U.S. Congressman Sam Graves is spearheading efforts to have oversight hearings into the Army Corps of Engineers management of the Missouri River. Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Congressman Graves:

Sam Graves

Press Release from the Office of Sam Graves

(Washington) U.S. Congressman Sam Graves, along with the other members of the Missouri River Working Group, has requested that the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hold oversight hearings into the management of the Missouri River this past summer.

Specifically the letter notes concerns over information that the Corps had and used in its decision-making process, the timing of their decisions and what actions should be taken to avoid a repeat disaster.

“We are just now starting to understand the extent of the damage that this flood caused,” said Graves. “This level of devastation demands that we get to the bottom of what happened and take steps to prevent it from happening again.”

Graves is joined by Representatives from Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska in asking for the hearing. In their letter, the lawmakers agreed that flood control should be the top priority in the management of the Missouri River.

Earlier this year, Graves invited Corps’ officials to tour places likely to be damaged by the unprecedented release of water and see first-hand how their decisions affect lives and businesses along the River. Graves has also introduced legislation to make flood control the top priority and end fish and wildlife as an authorized purpose. Graves successfully offered an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill to transfer $1 million from wildlife habitat to levee maintenance and operations.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers falls under the jurisdiction of the House Transportation Committee. Graves believes that hearings could happen as soon as this month.