A new study says the Army Corps of Engineers should consider other factors beyond transportation cost differences when conducting Benefit-Cost Analyses. The National Waterways Foundation (NWF) released the study titled “How Project Selection in the Corps of Engineers is Affected by Benefit-Cost Ratio Analysis.” The study compared how the Corps conducts Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) with other Federal Agencies (the Department of Transportation's Tiger Grant program; the Interior Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency). The study found there are many externalities commonly used in BCA for other agency infrastructure projects but not the Corps. The Corps focused mostly on transportation cost-savings. This is slightly different than other agencies. DOT’s TIGER grant program established a methodology for evaluating many additional positive externalities, and EPA analysts ask the question, “Which benefit categories are especially salient to particular stakeholders?” The Corps’ BCA does not consider this. The Center for Ports & Waterways at Texas A&M Transportation Institute conducted the study.

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