Senate Passes Bill to Improve Nation’s Waterways

The U.S. Senate has passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016 by a vote of 95 to 3.

The legislation authorizes 30 water projects, including improvements to waterways and flood-control systems.

One provision allows for more private funding of projects, according to its sponsor, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

“In the WRDA bill, we let local sponsors, like ports, either give money to the Corps (of Engineers) to carry out the maintenance, or get in and start maintaining themselves, using their own dollars,” Inhofe says. “That’s something that you’d think they can do now, but they can’t. That’s in this bill and it’s the major thing the ports were pushing for.”

The bill also provides assistance to coastal ports that need to deepen their harbors to accommodate the larger post-Panamax vessels that are now passing through the newly-expanded Panama Canal.

The House has yet to act on its version of WRDA.

Source: Brownfield Ag News 

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