The Mississippi River Commission will host a public hearing Friday August 12 at Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Ill., aboard the Motor Vessel MISSISSIPPI. The hearing is open to the public and scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Anyone with an interest is invited to present their views and suggestions on matters affecting the water resources infrastructure needs in the valley, including flood control and the Mississippi River and Tributaries project, environmental issues, recreation, navigation and others.
The agenda for the August 12 public hearing is as follows:
- Summary report by Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, president of the Commission, on national and regional issues affecting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Commission programs and projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
- St. Louis District overview on current project issues in the St. Louis District by District Commander Col. Anthony Mitchell.
- Presentations to the Commission by local organizations and members of the public giving views or comments on any issue affecting the programs or projects of the Commission and the Corps of Engineers.
The MRC, established in 1879, is composed of seven members, each nominated by the President of the United States and vetted by the Senate. Three of the organization's members are officers of the Corps of Engineers; one member is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and three members are civilians, two of whom are civil engineers.
General duties of the commission include recommendation of policy and work programs, the study of and reporting upon the necessity for modifications or additions to the flood control and navigation project, recommendation upon any matters authorized by law, and making semi-annual inspection trips. The duties of the commission include the entire length of the Mississippi River from its headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to Head of Passes, La., where the Mississippi River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
The purpose of the public meetings is to maintain a dialogue, an exchange of viewpoints and ideas flowing between the watershed interests, the public and the Corps. Presentations by the public are made orally, but a copy of the remarks should be presented to the commission for the official record and written response.
The public hearing process is unique to the Mississippi River Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The benefits of hearing the issues and concerns first hand through the public hearing process are invaluable to the commission and the Corps. Also, the interaction with congressional, federal and state interests, local boards and non-government organizations and the public is crucial to the decision-making process for the nation’s water resources.
Since 1879, the seven-member Presidentially appointed Mississippi River Commission has developed and matured plans for the general improvement of the Mississippi River from the Head of Passes to the Headwaters. The Mississippi River Commission brings critical engineering representation to the drainage basin, which impacts 41% of the United States and includes 1.25 million square miles, over 250 tributaries, 31 states and two Canadian provinces.