Representative Cindy Axne (D-IA 3rd District) and Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey hosted a roundtable on Thursday in the Iowa Supreme Court Chambers. Many Iowa agriculture leaders joined at the table, asking questions about flood recovery efforts, the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Iowa Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Julie Kenney asked the first question on behalf of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. Kenney requested an update on flood recovery efforts.
Representative Cindy Axne quickly responded by saying, “We have a long way to go when it comes to helping the victims of our flood.”
“Our main breaches are shored up, but we have dozens of levees still in need of repair. This is a two-year process, easily,” Representative Axne said. “It’s not happening as quickly as we would like; we’d like to see it done more quickly. But I think they (Army Corps of Engineers) are doing what they need to do to repair these levees.”
The Army Corps of Engineers will build levees to the same age-old standard.
This approach will not work, according to Representative Axne. However, the Corps operates under Congressional authority. Congresswoman Axne believes it is time to “adopt a new system.”
“What we need to do, since they work under Congressional authority, is adopt a new system, and work off upgraded maps and better communication systems that deal with these difficult weather patterns that are causing floods and coming from issues like climate change. They need to be able to adapt and respond appropriately; they have to be able to address issues immediately,” Representative Axne said.
Congressional leaders plan to enforce intermediary steps, allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to build to heights, which will protect impacted communities until Congress is able to change the legislative authority, granting them extended potential.