The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, of which the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA 2016) is included, passed on December 9, 2016. With this action, water resources legislation is returned to a regular, biennial process, which WCI applauds.
WIIN/WRDA 2016 did not contain a Public-Private Partnership (P3) provision that could have allowed for the collection of tolls or lockage fees on waterways. WCI stakeholder resistance successfully helped to defeat this onerous proposal. WIIN/WRDA does include approved Chief's Reports for Calcasieu Lock modifications in Louisiana, deepening of Brazos Island Harbor in Texas (Brownsville Ship Channel), and the Upper Ohio Study that allows the Emsworth, Dashields and Montgomery (EDM) locks project near Pittsburgh to move forward.
Provisions of the last water resources bill -- WRRDA 2014 – were based upon recommendations from the Capital Development Plan (CDP) to address inland waterways system infrastructure reliability. It contained provisions to prioritize navigation projects across the waterways system; improve Corps’ project management and processes to better deliver projects on-time and on-budget to realize $8 billion in job creation; reform navigation project cost allocations for the Olmsted project, to 85% General Fund, 15% Inland Waterways Trust Fund; define Major Rehabilitation project eligibility for Inland Waterways Trust Funds, increasing the current law level of $14 million to $20 million and adjusting it annually for inflation; and increase spending of Harbor Maintenance Trust Funds according to a schedule of increased funding.
Implementation guidance for WRDDA 2014 is currently ongoing.
WIIN/WRDA 2016: Returning water resources bills to an every two-year cycle, Congress ended with a WIIN in WRDA 2016!
Letters: WRDA 2016
- House Letter Signed by 75 Organizations Opposing P3 Tolling Proposal (April 6, 2016)
- Senate Letter Signed by 75 Organizations Opposing P3 Tolling Proposal (April 6, 2016)
- WRDA 2016 “Dear Colleague” Letter Urging Change to Major Rehab Threshold (February 26, 2016)
- WCI Infrastructure Week One-Pager (May 16-23, 2016)
WRDA policies are critical to our nation’s inland waterways, which provide and sustain more than a half-million jobs, support exports, and protect the environment. The waterways help relieve traffic congestion, and are the safest, most energy-efficient mode of surface transportation. Waterways are vital to our agriculture, manufacturing and energy sectors. Before passage of the 2016 bill, the 2014 Water Resources Reform Development Act (WRRDA) was signed into law after a seven-year delay. WRDA/WRRDA bills have strong bi-partisan support in Congress to authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform various water-related, water resources projects within their Civil Works mission.
Letters of Support: FY ’16 Funding, WRRDA, NESP, Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, and barge user fee increase
- Inland Waterways Users Board Recommendations to Congress about Commercial Navigation in President’s FY ’16 budget request (March 30, 2015)
- House “Dear Colleague” Letter in support of higher funding levels for the USACE in FY ’16 signed by 18 House Members (March 18, 2015)
- House “Dear Colleague” Letter in support of spending the surplus in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund per WRRDA 2014 signed by 86 House Members (March 17, 2015)
- Report by the American Society of Civil Engineers
Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Airports, Inland Waterways, and Marine Ports Infrastructure
- The Capital Development Plan
Capital Development Plan
- Is Trump's private-investment push enough to fix infrastructure?Jun 8, 2017 - The Columbus Dispatch
- Trump budget proposes higher barge fees to finish Chickamauga lock, other projectsMay 25, 2017 - Chattanooga Times/Free Press
- Chickamauga Lock gets $37 million for additional work this yearMay 25, 2017 - Chattanooga Times/Free Press
- Noise, more electric barriers proposed to stop Asian carp in Great Lakes region Aug 5, 2017 - Detroit Free Press
- BRIEF: River warning buoys moved by high water, Army Corps says Aug 2, 2017 - The Valley News-Dispatch
- Nickajack, Chickamauga dams opening for public tours for first time since 9/11 Jul 5, 2017 - Chattanooga Times/Free Press