Army Corps proposes new levee vegetation policy

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Updated: 3/25/2014 1:49 pm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Local agencies will no longer face the prospect of having to remove trees and other vegetation from levees in order to qualify for disaster relief funding under a new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policy.

The Sacramento Bee reports that the Corps announced the interim policy on Monday. California, which has disputed the Corps' contention that trees affect levy safety, faced millions of dollars in costs to remove trees in order to qualify for levee repair grants in the event of a flood under the old policy.

The Corps says now it will continue to inspect levies according to vegetation standards, but will not withhold disaster funding if they are not met.

Corps officials say they expect the interim rule to become permanent.

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