House Overwhelmingly Passes Bipartisan Water Resources Development Act
By a vote of 408 to 2, the House of Representatives approved the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA). This legislation provides for improvements to the Nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure.
“Today’s passage of the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 is a win for our Nation’s coastal communities and those located on inland waterways,” said Ranking Member DeFazio. "With that said, I am extremely disappointed that the bill does not include a bipartisan provision that would have ensured that funds collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) are used only for harbor maintenance—not for unrelated government spending. Unlocking the HMTF is key to ensuring we’re not just adding to the $100 billion dollar backlog of projects at the Corps of Engineers, but are actually using existing funds to make real investments in our Nation’s ports, harbors and waterways. Despite the removal of my HMTF provision, I support this legislation because of the many other provisions which will improve safety, sustain jobs, and provide improvements to projects undertaken by the Army Corps.”
WRDA 2018 includes provisions that:
- Authorize locally driven, but nationally vital, investments in our Nation’s water resources infrastructure.
- Encourage economic growth and competitiveness, and help move goods throughout the country and abroad.
- Protect Davis-Bacon requirements for water infrastructure projects, guaranteeing that American workers can earn a living wage.
- Preserve environmental protections designed to protect human health, clean water, and the environment.
- Uphold Congress’ constitutional duty to provide for infrastructure and facilitate commerce for the Nation.
In addition, Ranking Member DeFazio included a provision in WRDA 2018 requiring the Corps to expedite its feasibility study of the levy at Fern Ridge Reservoir. Improving Oregon State Highway 126W between Eugene and Veneta has long been a priority for Lane County. The project is challenged by the fact that much of this stretch is built on a narrow levy that bisects the Fern Ridge Reservoir, a Corps facility. This study would help clear one hurdle in any future highway construction project along 126W.
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