Metropolitan Chicago's Combined Water Cleanup and Flood Control Program:

Status and Problems

PSAD-78-94: Published: May 24, 1978. Publicly Released: May 24, 1978.

Additional Materials:


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The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) and associated projects in the Chicago, Illinois, area are part of a total water cleanup and flood control program estimated to cost about $8 billion.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which contributes about 75 percent of project costs, has already funded $667 million for construction of water pollution aspects. EPA funds will probably be available to complete the combined sewer overflow facilities but, with the current authorization, funds may not be available for the remaining wastewater treatment plant improvements. Congress has not yet approved funding for the Corps of Engineers to construct flood damage reduction features. The Corps prepared a preliminary study to determine federal interest in flood control aspects of the projects, and Congress conditionally authorized $12 million for a study of advanced engineering and design. The completion of all segments of the program is in doubt because of delays, high and escalating costs, and funding uncertainty. No one federal agency has oversight responsibility.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: If funds are appropriated for the Corps study, the Secretary of the Army should require the Corps to develop alternatives for solving flood control problems and to compare benefits at various funding levels. Congress should: (1) establish a national policy defining the extent of federal assistance to be provided to urban areas for such multipurpose projects; (2) designate one agency to be responsible for the project and similar multiagency projects; (3) require the designated agency to submit to Congress periodic status reports; and (4) consider whether some reduction or flexibility in water quality goals would be acceptable in the interest of economy. The Administrator, EPA, should coordinate funding from all sources before beginning future construction of projects of this nature.


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