CERP Project Planning: Project Implementation Reports
Project implementation reports (PIRs) are decision documents that bridge the gap between the conceptual design contained in the Yellow Book (USACE and SFWMD, 1999) and the detailed design necessary to proceed to construction. PIRs for most CERP projects are sent to the U.S. Congress for approval as part of the project planning and authorization process (Figure 3-1). No federal funding in support of mid- to large-sized CERP project construction can be appropriated before PIR approval and project authorization. However, the Secretary of the Army can approve PIRs and proceed with construction for small CERP projects (projects under $25M, with a total not to exceed $206M) under program authority.
The final draft Guidance Memoranda (USACE and SFWMD, 2007a) describe the expected contents and supporting analyses required in the PIRs. The PIR includes an evaluation of alternative designs and operations for their environmental benefits in relation to costs, as well as engineering feasibility. Each PIR also includes detailed analyses that support the justification for a project being next in the queue for CERP implementation as opposed to being delayed to a later time. Each PIR must show conformance with the Savings Clause in WRDA 2000, including a statement of the water reservation for the natural system and for other uses. The Restoration, Coordination, and Verification (RECOVER) program reviews the draft PIR, evaluates the benefits of project alternatives, and assesses the contribution of the project to meeting the overall goals of the CERP. RECOVER also evaluates the project’s contributions toward meeting the interim goals and interim targets.