USA: Critical Water Resources Legislation Passes Full Congress

The Florida Ports Council applauded the U.S. Senate for approving the bipartisan Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA) conference report 91 – 7.

The next step will be for the bill to go before the President for final approval. The Florida Ports Council has been in Washington D.C. this week for its spring Fly-In with the Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity advocating for this important legislation.

“We applaud Florida’s Congressional leadership for working together to pass this important investment in Florida’s and this nation’s infrastructure. This bill is a big win for all Floridians,” remarked Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “This bill contains critical improvements to the project approval process at the federal level, as well as other policy improvements, to assist Florida ports’ efforts in creating jobs, growing the economy and continuing to position Florida as a global hub for business.

The conferenced version of WRRDA promotes the nation’s competitiveness, prosperity, and economic growth by upholding the seminal federal responsibility to maintain a strong transportation infrastructure and ensure the efficient flow of domestic and international commerce. It impacts infrastructure, navigation, flood, environmental restoration, and water projects from the Florida Panhandle all the way to the Everglades.

More specifically, the legislation reforms the U.S. Army Corps process to remove inefficiencies and add timelines for Corps studies, and ensures the full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by 2025, so that 100 percent of the funds collected go towards their intended purpose of operation and maintenance activities.

Press Release, May 23, 2014

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