The terms “natural feature” and “nature-based feature” have the meanings given those terms in section 2289a of this title.
The Secretary is authorized to carry out a program to study, design, and construct water resources development projects through measures involving, among other things, strengthening, raising, extending, realigning, or otherwise modifying existing flood control works, designing new works, and incorporating natural features, nature-based features, or nonstructural features, as appropriate to provide flood and coastal storm risk management to affected communities.
In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practical, review and, where appropriate, incorporate natural features or nature-based features, or a combination of such features and nonstructural features, that avoid or reduce at least 50 percent of flood or storm damages in one or more of the alternatives included in the final alternatives evaluated.
If the Federal share of the cost of a project described in paragraph (1) exceeds $17,500,000, the Secretary shall submit the project recommendation to Congress for authorization prior to construction, and shall include the project recommendation in the next annual report submitted under section 2282d of this title.
If, based on a study carried out pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary determines that a project described in paragraph (1) will not produce benefits greater than cost, the Secretary shall allow the affected community to pay, or provide contributions equal to, an amount sufficient to make the remaining costs of design and construction of the project equal to the estimated value of the benefits of the project.
Amounts provided by an affected community under clause (i) shall be in addition to any payments or contributions the affected community is required to provide toward the remaining costs of design and construction of the project under section 2213 of this title.
Any cost-sharing agreement for a project entered into pursuant to this section shall be subject to the ability of the affected community to pay.
The ability of any affected community to pay shall be determined by the Secretary in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary.
Any reduction in the non-Federal share of the cost of a project described in paragraph (1) as a result of a determination under this paragraph shall not be included in the Federal share for purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3).