The Chief of Engineers shall ensure that the design and construction activities for hurricane and storm damage reduction and flood damage reduction projects are reviewed by independent experts under this section if the Chief of Engineers determines that a review by independent experts is necessary to assure public health, safety, and welfare.
At the appropriate point in the development of detailed engineering and design specifications for each water resources project subject to review under this section, the Chief of Engineers shall initiate a safety assurance review by independent experts on the design and construction activities for the project.
A safety assurance review under this section shall include participation by experts selected by the Chief of Engineers from among individuals who are distinguished experts in engineering, hydrology, or other appropriate disciplines. The Chief of Engineers shall apply the National Academy of Science’s policy for selecting reviewers to ensure that reviewers have no conflict of interest with the project being reviewed.
An individual serving as an independent reviewer under this section shall be compensated at a rate of pay to be determined by the Secretary and shall be allowed travel expenses.
A safety assurance review under this section shall include a review of the design and construction activities prior to the initiation of physical construction and periodically thereafter until construction activities are completed on a regular schedule sufficient to inform the Chief of Engineers on the adequacy, appropriateness, and acceptability of the design and construction activities for the purpose of assuring public health, safety, and welfare. The Chief of Engineers shall ensure that reviews under this section do not create any unnecessary delays in design and construction activities.
The written recommendations of a reviewer or panel of reviewers under this section and the responses of the Chief of Engineers shall be available to the public, including through electronic means on the Internet.
This section shall apply to any project in design or under construction on November 8, 2007, and to any project with respect to which design or construction is initiated during the period beginning on November 8, 2007, and ending 7 years after November 8, 2007.
Chapter 10 of title 5 shall not apply to a safety assurance review conducted under this section.