Senate passes water development act
The Senate on Thursday passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) by a vote of 93 to 1.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., said, “In addition to supporting the Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works program, the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 also better positions the corps for the future. Enacting WRDA 2022 will keep our economy moving, restore critical ecosystems, and protect communities big and small from the worsening impacts of climate change.”
Sen. Shelley More Capito, R-W. Va., the ranking member on the EPW Committee, said, “In addition to addressing needs across the United States, this legislation advances important flood control projects for West Virginia, and delivers support for water and wastewater services in the state.”
The Waterways Council Inc and the National Grain and Feed Association said they were particularly pleased by the provision that amends the cost-share for inland waterway projects to 75% general Treasury funds and 25% from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. It has been 65%/35%.
“This permanent cost-share change would expedite the modernization of U.S. inland waterways and bolster the ability of NGFA members to fulfill their role in the agricultural value chain to serve American farmers and domestic and global customers,” NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert said.
NGFA noted that House and Senate lawmakers must conference and pass WRDA 2022 before it can be signed into law.
NGFA also said a final WRDA bill should maintain navigational access to the lower Snake River dams.
“A final WRDA 2022 should neither authorize nor pave the way for the breach or removal of dams in the Columbia-Snake River System, which is the third largest grain export corridor in the world and is crucial to American agriculture’s global competitiveness,” Seyfert said.
Congress has passed a WRDA every two years since 2014.