U.S. Sen. David Vitter, lead Senate Republican negotiator for the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA), announced that the final bill will increase funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to maintain the ports and waterways.
“Our ports and waterways are vital to Louisiana’s economy and the nation’s economy,” Vitter said. “We found a solution that addresses the policy and funding challenges facing the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund so we can ensure that our nation’s ports and waterways can meet current and future transportation needs.”
The final bill authorizes an increase in Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund expenditures, prioritizes funding for high-and medium-use ports, and increases the Federal cost-share threshold for Corps operations and management responsibility from 45-ft to 50-ft.
The final bill involves other provisions that directly benefit Louisiana including:
· Authorization for Morganza to the Gulf;
· Coastal and ecosystem restoration through the authorization of six Louisiana Coastal Area projects;
· Critical reforms to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that expedite project delivery and penalize the Corps for missing deadlines;
· Authorization for the Corps to perform future levee lifts for the hurricane protection system.
Press Release, May 13, 2014