Capitol Currents Newsletter

WCI Urges Cost-Share Change in WRDA 2020

July 31, 2019

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On July 10, Rob Innis, Plant Manager of LafargeHolcim’s Sparrows Point (MD) cement facility, testified on behalf of WCI at a hearing of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. The hearing addressed “Water Resources Development Acts (WRDA): Status of Implementation and Assessing Future Needs.” Mr. Innis serves as Chairman of the Inland Waterways Users Board, and is a member of WCI’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. 


LafargeHolcim is the leading global building material and solutions company serving masons, builders, architects, engineers, and major construction companies around the world. LafargeHolcim operates in more than 80 countries with over 80,000 employees. The company produces cement, aggregates, concrete, and specialty construction solutions products used in building projects ranging from affordable housing and small, local projects to the largest, most technically and architecturally challenging infrastructure projects.


Mr. Innis said that as we look ahead to WRDA 2020, WCI and its members are urging conforming inland waterways cost-sharing to 75% General Revenues/25% Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) from the current 50%/50% formula. This same funding formula was adopted for deep-draft ports in WRDA 2016 to expedite critical channel deepening to be ready to receive post-Panamax vessels calling on U.S. ports. Making this change for the inland waterways would ensure that funding remains at or above a $400 million-level that was achieved as a result of the cost-share change at the Olmsted project, and accelerate navigation project delivery in order to efficiently complete a portfolio of more than 15 high priority inland navigation projects that are under construction or awaiting construction. Under the current funding formula, many of these projects will not begin construction in the next 20 years.


Also testifying at the hearing was The Honorable R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works); Major General Scott A. Spellmon, Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Chad Berginnis, Executive Director, Association of State Floodplain Managers; Tom Waters, Chairman, Missouri Levee and Drainage District Association; Julie Hill-Gabriel, Vice President for Water Conservation, The National Audubon Society; Derek Brockbank, Executive Director, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association; and F. Martin (Marty) Ralph, Ph.D., Director, Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego.