Federal officials are barred from spending money on a Missouri River environmental study for a third straight year under a newly signed $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill.
Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer introduced the amendment that would prohibit funding for the Missouri River Ecosystem Restoration Plan amid concerns that environmental efforts are shifting the focus from flood protection.
The study was authorized in 2007 and was intended to culminate in a plan that would guide restoration and recovery efforts along the river. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent $16.6 million before funding was yanked after extensive flooding in 2011 led to a backlash against environmental projects.
Conservationists say ongoing defunding of the study is putting vital work on hold.