A bipartisan water resources reform bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by the leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain, and support the infrastructure needs of our nation's vital ports and waterways, and support effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs.
Key provisions of the bill include:
· Establishes a Water Infrastructure Public Private Partnership Program
· Consolidates or eliminates duplicative or unnecessary studies and requires concurrent reviews.
· Streamlines environmental reviews.
· De-authorizes $12 billion of inactive projects that were authorized before 2007.
· Fully offsets new authorizations with de-authorizations.
· Sunsets new authorizations to prevent future project backlogs.
· Reduces the inventory of properties that are not needed for the missions of the Corps.
· Establishes new, transparent process for future bills to review and prioritize water resources development activities with strong congressional oversight.
· Authorizes needed investments in America’s ports.
The WRRDA bill is a priority of the agriculture community because of the importance and the need to modernize the locks and dams on the nation’s waterway systems. The American Soybean Association (ASA) said, “ASA strongly supports enactment of waterways legislation that makes significant progress in repairing and revitalizing our aging waterways infrastructure. U.S. soybean farmers rely on a healthy waterways infrastructure to move their soybeans to market.”
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