BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A bill passed through the House in Congress this week could have a big impact on the Comite Diversion Canal project.
The Water Resources Development Act clears the way for changing some of the rules for the process through the Army Corps of Engineers.
Congressman Garret Graves said it's a huge step forward in getting the Comite and other infrastructure projects moving.
"What it means is first of all, when it rains, that you are no longer sitting there taking water out of your house or wading through your front yard," Graves explained. "What it means is that we have lower flood insurance payments because we have better flood protection systems. What it means is that we can move forward on some of the projects that take some of the property taxes and other dollars that many of us have put forward in this region to pay for these projects. We can finally invest them in something that's truly going to provide flood relief."
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"This bill takes it even a step further. It allows for the parishes and it allows for the state or Amite River Basin Commissioner Levy Districts to take the lead on these projects and they can implement them as if they're the Corps of Engineers, so you don't have to go back through all the regulatory processes, which takes years and costs millions of dollars," Graves added.
The goal is that under the new rules, projects like the Comite River diversion would take years, rather than decades. The bill now heads to the Senate.