U.S. House passes Water Resources Development Act

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 (H.R. 8) June 6. The bipartisan legislation provides for improvements to the nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration and other water resources infrastructure essential to economic growth and American competitiveness. The bill passed by a vote of 408 to 2.

The legislation authorizes proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works activities and provides reforms to the Corps. The bill was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA).

“WRDA works because these are investments in the type of infrastructure that is vital to every American and every part of the country,” said Chairman Shuster. “The health of this infrastructure directly impacts how efficiently the things we buy get onto store shelves, how quickly the goods we produce get to markets around the world, how competitive our businesses and farmers are and how effectively our communities are protected from floods. I look forward to working with the Senate to send a final WRDA measure to the president that builds our water infrastructure, grows our economy and creates jobs.”

“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:

  • Authorizes locally driven, but nationally vital, investments in our nation’s water resources infrastructure
  • Strengthens economic growth and competitiveness, helps move goods throughout the country and abroad, and protects our communities
  • Follows the transparent process Congress established under the 2014 reforms for considering proposed Army Corps of Engineers activities
  • Builds upon previous reforms of the Corps to further accelerate the process for moving projects forward more efficiently and at lower cost
  • Upholds Congress’ constitutional duty to provide for infrastructure and facilitate commerce for the nation

Click here for additional information about the Water Resources Development Act of 2018.

Maritime Editorial