Press Releases

Committee Approves Bipartisan Water Resources Development Act

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2024 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today approved the Water Resources Development Act of 2024 (WRDA), legislation that authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Civil Works Program for projects to improve the nation’s ports and harbors, inland waterway navigation, flood and storm protection, and other aspects of our water resources infrastructure.

WRDA (H.R. 8812) was introduced in the House by T&I Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), T&I Committee Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC), and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA).

“Safe and reliable water infrastructure plays a central role in keeping our economy and supply chain moving, while also protecting life and property.  That’s exactly what this bill provides, and that’s why WRDA delivers,” said Chairman Graves.  “This bill also makes commonsense reforms to streamline project development processes at the Corps and empower local, non-federal project sponsors, which will allow water resource projects to get done faster and at a lower cost to taxpayers.  And with current and expected flooding along the Missouri River, this legislation couldn’t be more timely for my constituents in Northern Missouri.  The bill continues to build on efforts to make protecting people’s lives and livelihoods the top priority on the Missouri River, and it charts a long-overdue new path forward to improve flood control on the Upper Mississippi River.”

“The Water Resources Development Act of 2024 is the culmination of months of hard work by Members of Congress, staff, and stakeholders across the country,” said Chairman Rouzer.  “This bipartisan legislative package improves our nation’s ports and harbors and inland navigation networks, strengthens U.S. and international commerce, and will help improve protection of communities during national disasters.  The provisions of this bill touch every aspect of our water resources across the country, positively impacting the very way of life for every American.  I look forward to its passage on the House Floor in the coming weeks."

H.R. 8812 authorizes locally-driven projects that also deliver regional and national benefits for strengthening the nation’s global competitiveness and supply chain, growing the economy, moving goods throughout the country, protecting communities from flooding, and more.

WRDA 2024 authorizes 160 new feasibility studies for locally proposed projects and 12 projects that have been thoroughly reviewed by the Corps and have culminated in a final report to Congress with approval by the Chief of Engineers or the Director of Civil Works.

As amended today, WRDA also reauthorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Dam Safety Program through 2028 and makes changes to strengthen the High Hazard Potential Dam program, including requiring that rehabilitated dams are maintained and appropriate floodplain management plans are in place.

Furthermore, the bill makes commonsense Corps reforms that empower the non-federal project sponsors, increase project transparency, and improve project delivery.  Provisions in WRDA will strengthen existing alternative delivery processes and create similar alternative delivery methods within the continuing authorities program (CAP) for smaller projects.  The bill requires the Corps to track National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for water resource projects through their online permitting dashboard. And the legislation creates a new initiative to assist non-federal interests in accessing resources at the Corps to get new projects studied and constructed.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has developed and passed WRDA legislation on a bipartisan and biennial basis since 2014.  WRDA 2024 maintains the regular consideration of this important infrastructure legislation, and it provides Congress the opportunity for input into the projects undertaken by the Corps. 

Click here for more information on WRDA.

The Committee also approved 10 General Services Administration (GSA) lease resolutions for United States Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, including outpatient clinics, community living centers, research facilities, hospitals, and residential rehabilitation facilities, which will improve access to care for our Nation’s veterans.

Click here for information from today’s Committee markup.