33 USC 545: Preliminary examinations and reports; surveys; contents of report to Congress generally
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33 USC 545: Preliminary examinations and reports; surveys; contents of report to Congress generally Text contains those laws in effect on July 23, 2024

§545. Preliminary examinations and reports; surveys; contents of report to Congress generally

In all cases where preliminary examinations and surveys are authorized a preliminary examination of the river, harbor, or other proposed improvement mentioned shall first be made and a report as to the advisability of its improvement shall be submitted unless a survey or estimate is expressly directed. If upon such preliminary examination the proposed improvement is not deemed advisable, no further action shall be taken thereon without the further direction of Congress; but in case the report shall be favorable to such proposed improvement, or that a survey and estimate should be made to determine the advisability of improvement, the Secretary of the Army is authorized, in his discretion, to cause surveys to be made, and the cost and advisability to be reported to Congress. And such reports containing plans and estimates shall also contain a statement as to the rate at which the work should be prosecuted: Provided, That every report submitted to Congress, in addition to full information regarding the present and prospective commercial importance of the project covered by the report and the benefit to commerce likely to result from any proposed plan of improvement, shall also contain such data as it may be practicable to secure in regard to the following subjects:

(a) The existence and establishment of both private and public terminal and transfer facilities contiguous to the navigable water proposed to be improved, and, if water terminals have been constructed, the general location, description, and use made of the same, with an opinion as to their adequacy and efficiency, whether private or public. If no public terminals have been constructed, or if they are inadequate in number, there shall be included in the report an opinion in general terms as to the necessity, number, and appropriate location of the same, and also the necessary relations of such proposed terminals to the development of commerce.

(b) The development and utilization of water power for industrial and commercial purposes.

(c) Such other subjects as may be properly connected with such project: Provided, That in the investigation and study of these questions consideration shall be given only to their bearing upon the improvement of navigation, to the possibility and desirability of their being coordinated in a logical and proper manner with improvements for navigation to lessen the cost of such improvements and to compensate the Government for expenditures made in the interest of navigation, and to their relation to the development and regulation of commerce: Provided further, That the investigation and study of these questions may, upon review by the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors when called for as provided by law, be extended to any work of improvement under way and to any locality the examination and survey of which has heretofore been, or may hereafter be, authorized by Congress.

(Mar. 4, 1913, ch. 144, §3, 37 Stat. 825 ; July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title II, §205(a), 61 Stat. 501 .)

Editorial Notes


This section and the second paragraph of section 556 of this title are from section 3 of act Mar. 4, 1913, popularly known as the "Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1913". That section superseded similar provisions of act June 25, 1910, ch. 382, §3, 36 Stat. 668 , for reports, investigations on review by the board of Engineers and for the printing of reports.

Prior Provisions

Provision for report of examinations of river and harbor improvements appeared in R.S. §231, repealed by act Mar. 3, 1933, ch. 202, §1, 47 Stat. 1428 , and read as follows: "The Secretary of War shall cause to be prepared and submitted to Congress, in connection with the reports of examinations and surveys of rivers and harbors hereafter made by order of Congress, full statements of all existing facts tending to show to what extent the general commerce of the country will be promoted by the several works of improvements contemplated by such examinations and surveys, to the end that public moneys shall not be applied excepting where such improvements shall tend to subserve the general commercial and navigation interests of the United States."

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Change of Name

Department of War designated Department of the Army and title of Secretary of War changed to Secretary of the Army by section 205(a) of act July 26, 1947, ch. 343, title II, 61 Stat. 501 . Section 205(a) of act July 26, 1947, was repealed by section 53 of act Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 641 . Section 1 of act Aug. 10, 1956, enacted "Title 10, Armed Forces" which in sections 3010 to 3013 continued Department of the Army under administrative supervision of Secretary of the Army.

Termination of Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors and Reassignment of Duties and Responsibilities

For termination of Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors 180 days after Oct. 31, 1992, and reassignment of duties and responsibilities by Secretary of Army, see section 223 of Pub. L. 102–580, set out as a note under section 541 of this title.

Temporary Prohibitory Provisions

Provisions prohibiting supplemental reports or estimates, prohibiting the making of examination or survey for new works not designated, and providing that projects were not to be deemed entered upon until appropriations were made, appeared in various rivers and harbors appropriation acts. They are omitted from the Code as superseded or temporary.

Report on Improvements for Coastal Defense Purposes

The Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy were authorized and directed to report to Congress at the earliest practicable date, such specific plans for improvement of harbors, canals and connecting channels as would best provide adequate facilities for operations of the fleet for defense of the harbors on the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts; also the feasible extensions requisite to make existing approved projects for improvement of such harbors, canals, and channels available for such purposes, and the cost of each such several improvements, calculated upon the basis of completion under contract within five years, by act Aug. 29, 1916, ch. 417, 39 Stat. 556 , omitted from the Code as special and temporary.

Preliminary Examinations and Surveys of Great Lakes

The Secretary of War was directed to cause preliminary examinations and surveys to be made of the harbors and connecting waters of the Great Lakes with a view to determining what additional improvements would be necessary to permit those waterways to accommodate vessels to pass through the Welland Canal when enlarged by the Dominion of Canada, including report as to the character and draft of vessels which might be expected to use the canal when so enlarged, by a provision of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1916, act July 27, 1916, ch. 260, §2, 39 Stat. 411 , omitted from the Code as special and temporary.