DeFazio Votes Yes to Help Small Ports (USA)

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) applauded the passage of a bipartisan bill that will boost funding for harbor maintenance and provide critical resources to small Oregon ports. The legislation, called the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), gives the Army Corps of Engineers the authorization it needs to move forward with overdue navigation, flood control and environmental restoration projects.

For years, Oregon’s coastal communities have been in economic limbo as the Corps’ dredging and maintenance projects were underfunded and the backlogs of unmet needs grew. With the bill’s passage, the U.S. will make investments in its infrastructure, preventing much more costly fixes in the future. Under current law there is no money set aside for small ports, but DeFazio successfully advocated for a guarantee that ten percent of funds would be set aside for harbor maintenance directed to critical projects for small ports.

“Today the tide turned for some of Oregon’s coastal communities. The federal government will no longer shirk its responsibility to safeguard infrastructure that is critical to thousands of fishing jobs and our local economies,” DeFazio said. “These communities have been neglected for too long. This legislation will ensure that our most critical needs will be met in our ports and harbors—no matter what size.”

In addition, DeFazio offered an amendment to the WRRDA bill that focused on getting ports back in business, rather than undermining critical environmental protections and public participation under the National Environmental Policy Act and other conservation laws. The amendment was defeated, but 183 lawmakers, including 2 Republicans, joined DeFazio in support of the amendment.

Congress doesn’t need to sidestep critical conservation laws and the environmental review process to speed up approved water resource projects—Congress needs to fund these projects. If we stopped short-changing the Army Corps in the budgeting process we could begin to deal with the $40 billion backlog of critical projects. I objected to the so-called environmental streamlining provisions in this bill and offered an amendment that would require Congress to fully fund approved projects before implementing any new environmental shortcuts. I will continue to fight efforts to roll back environmental protections as we move forward in the legislative process. ”

The legislation passed by a vote of 417 to 3. The bill is now ready to be reconciled with legislation passed by the Senate earlier this year.

Press Release, November 4, 2013

 

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3rd International Congress Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging

Russia’s leading maritime industry Media Group PortNews (www.portnews.ru) holds a traditional annual Congress “Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging” in Moscow. 

The two-day Congress includes the 7th International Forum of Dredging Companies and the 3rd Technical Conference “Modern Solutions for Hydraulic Engineering”.

Infrastructure development is among the real sources of Russia’s economy growth. Construction of port facilities and new hydraulic engineering structures on the country’s inland waterways constitute an essential part of all infrastructure projects. It is important to take into account the best international practices to implement these projects effectively.

The program of the Congress will be devoted to the latest technologies for dredging and hydraulic engineering works. Speakers and delegates will refer to real projects to discuss specifics features of dredging works, as well as dedicated fleet and equipment involved.

To learn more about event, please, contact the organizing committee: snitko@portnews.ru

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