House Sends Water Resources Infrastructure Bill to Senate with Unanimous Vote
The House of Representatives today unanimously approved bipartisan, comprehensive water resources infrastructure legislation, which includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA). The bill will improve America’s harbors, ports, waterways, flood protection, and other vital water infrastructure.
The America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (S. 3021), approved today by voice vote, is the product of negotiations and agreement between House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over various water resources and energy infrastructure issues.
Title I of S. 3021 is WRDA 2018, which authorizes locally driven water transportation and resources infrastructure improvements, to be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, that are critical to our economy and to protecting our communities. Additional titles of the bill address stormwater, wastewater, and drinking water infrastructure and hydropower development.
- Authorizes locally driven, but nationally vital, investments in our Nation’s water resources infrastructure.
- Strengthens economic growth and competitiveness, helps move goods throughout the country and abroad, and protects our communities.
- Follows the transparent process Congress established under the 2014 reforms for considering proposed Army Corps of Engineers activities.
- Builds upon previous reforms of the Corps to further accelerate the process for moving projects forward more efficiently and at lower cost.
- Upholds Congress’ constitutional duty to provide for infrastructure and facilitate commerce for the Nation.
“This bill is good for our infrastructure, good for jobs, and good for America,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). “It invests in the ports, locks and dams, inland waterways, flood protection, and other infrastructure that makes America more competitive and protects our communities, while building upon reforms to the Army Corps of Engineers to continue improving project delivery. I commend my House and Senate colleagues for working together to reach agreement, and I look forward to the Senate taking up this bill as soon as possible.”
“This bipartisan legislation will authorize water infrastructure projects developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will strengthen our coastal communities, help keep us competitive in the world economy, and restore our coastal environment,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR). “These critical water infrastructure projects will improve our Nation’s ports, harbors, and waterways, and create and sustain thousands of good-paying American jobs. I applaud my colleagues for their good bipartisan work. The legislation isn’t perfect – I am disappointed that the bill does not include a critical provision that would ensure that funds collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund are used only for harbor maintenance and not for unrelated government spending. I will continue to fight for a permanent fix to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.”
“As Hurricane Florence approaches our coast, we are once again reminded how critically important it is to ensure our communities’ resiliency,” said Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA). “Nearly 40 percent of America’s population lives on just the 10% of land that comprise our coastal counties and parishes. This bill, together with the House-passed Disaster Reform and Recovery Act (H.R. 4), begins shifting from reactive, red tape, endless studies, and bureaucratic delays to proactively leaning forward, building projects, improving the resilience of our communities, improving our ports and navigation channels and restoring our coastal ecosystems. These bills help deliver the solutions Americans deserve.”
“Our legislation builds on the work we have begun in previous WRDAs at focusing the Army Corps of Engineers on water supply in arid regions, such as Southern California,” said Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA). “It also improves EPA programs for stormwater, water recycling, and sewer overflow projects, increases water workforce training to address new technologies and a retiring workforce, and it creates a national standard for water-efficient products. I am proud to have worked with Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, and Chairman Graves in a true bipartisan manner to meet the water infrastructure needs of communities throughout America.”
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