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DeFazio Introduces Bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2020

Jul 13, 2020
Press Release
This legislation is critical to Oregon’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure

Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA).

This legislation provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to carry out water resources development projects and studies, as well as reforms and policy direction to the Corps for implementation of its civil works missions. The Committee is set to mark up this legislation on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Specifically, WRDA 2020 authorizes 35 Corps feasibility studies and construction of all 34 pending proposed projects with final Chief’s Reports within the Corps Civil Works mission areas, including navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, shoreline protection, and ecosystem restoration. Regular consideration of locally-driven, rigorously-studied, and nationally-significant water resources infrastructure is key to preserving our Nation’s economy, to protecting our communities and businesses, and to maintaining our quality of life. This work, typically carried out by the Corps, is made possible through enactment of WRDA.

Congress has successfully enacted three consecutive bipartisan WRDAs in 2014, 2016, and 2018. With WRDA 2020, we will continue this positive track record and show that WRDA still works. More information, including bill text, can be found here.

“This WRDA legislation is a resounding victory for the State of Oregon, Oregon’s ports, and fishing communities,” said Chair DeFazio. “One of my biggest priorities when developing WRDA 2020 was to fully unlock Federal investment in our nation’s ports and harbors. This legislation will allow for the approximately $10 billion in already collected HMT funds to be used to ensure the maintenance needs of ports and harbors across the country are met, and it doubles the amount of funding dedicated to small harbors. Doing so will make sure repairs to crumbling jetties, like the North Jetty in Coos Bay, are prioritized and completed quickly. I look forward to bringing this legislation to the House Floor soon for a vote.”

“WRDA 2020 will benefit transportation and commerce through our ports and inland waterways, save lives and property too frequently threatened by flooding, and bring numerous economic benefits to the Nation,” said Ranking Member Graves.  “For my district in Missouri and those who have suffered from devastating floods, this bill takes vital steps to improve flood control infrastructure and reduce the future risk and potential for damage from such disasters.  I thank Chairs DeFazio and Napolitano, Ranking Member Westerman, and all the Members who worked to develop this legislation, which demonstrates that operating in a bipartisan manner always offers this committee our best opportunity to positively impact our Nation’s infrastructure.”