FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 20, 2018
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) filed three amendments to H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations bill, as a continuation of his efforts to address the specific issues faced by Kentuckians in the Lake Cumberland and Rough River Lake communities.
Amendments #2973, #2974, and #2975 would prevent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from conducting costly studies and imposing new, unfair fees on Kentuckians in these areas.
In addition to proposing legislative action, Dr. Paul’s efforts to address these communities’ concerns have included personally meeting multiple times with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works R.D. James in the past year to ask for assistance in resolving these issues, as well as sending follow-up letters to Assistant Secretary James.
“During my many meetings and discussions with the residents and officials in these communities, I promised to do whatever I could to find a solution to the Corps’ involvement at Lake Cumberland and Rough River Lake. These amendments are a continuation of my fight, on behalf of these Kentuckians, to defend our land and waterways from further government intrusion on homeowners, businesses, and anyone who pays a water bill,” said Dr. Paul.
Rough River Lake Flowage Easement Encroachment Resolution Plan: This plan, which the previous Army Corps director signed in the final days of the Obama administration, has been a bureaucratic and financial nightmare for residents around Rough River Lake. Last year, the Corps notified hundreds of residents that their homes are in or below the Corps’ easement around the lake, and that the residents are each responsible for paying thousands of dollars in administrative fees, survey fees, and possible costs of structural relocation to comply with the Corps’ demands related to the easement. This is due to the Army Corps improperly measuring their easement around the lake in the 1950s, allowing decades of construction around the lake without any notice to residents, and waiting until 2017 to tell residents that their homes were in violation of their easement.
• Paul “Rough River Lake Enforcement” Amendment #2973: Would prevent enforcement of any requirements under the plan and prevent the use of eminent domain against the residents.
• Paul “Rough River Lake Survey” Amendment #2974: Would prevent the Corps from completing the last of three surveys around the Lake, which is the survey to determine where easement encroachments are located.
Lake Cumberland: For many years, the Corps has been attempting to begin a process which will lead to fees on surrounding cities and businesses that use Lake Cumberland for their water supply. A major concern is that entering into long-term water supply contracts with the Corps will result in unaffordable costs being passed onto residents around Lake Cumberland —the $600 million price tag of rehabilitating Wolf Creek Dam is still fresh on their minds. This has been an issue at other lakes around the state, too, including Laurel River Lake and Barren River Lake.
• Paul Amendment #2975: This amendment prohibits the funding of certain water supply studies, therefore blocking the Corps’ attempts to assess fees on those who draw water from these Lakes. It is companion language to what was included in the House version of the appropriations bill and introduced by Congressman Hal Rogers.