U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., praised the passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) reauthorization bill that includes important Army Corps reforms and streamlines the authorization for projects in Southwest Louisiana, including language to allow the deepening of the Port of Iberia channel and Sabine-Neches Waterway, along with increased dredging for the Port of Lake Charles.
The Port of Iberia project’s inclusion comes after months of work by Sen. Landrieu and her Senate colleagues to overcome the ideological opposition of House negotiators that considered the project modification an earmark. In the fall 2013, after passage of the Senate WRDA bill, the Abbeville Harbor & Terminal District and Vermillion Parish Police Jury passed resolutions in support of the requested revision, but, despite the cost savings, the House failed to include the language in its bill.
“Energy ports like the Port of Iberia provide play a critical role in our nation’s domestic energy production and are integral to both the continued economic growth of Acadiana and our nation’s energy independence. With the common-sense fix included in the final water infrastructure bill, we can invest federal funds to deepen the channel and secure future economic investments that support job creation and domestic energy production,” Sen. Landrieu said. “Louisiana ports account for nearly 25 percent of the nation’s waterborne commerce, and our waterways connect America’s Heartland with the world. The passage of this vital water infrastructure bill is a victory for Louisiana and the nation. It gives us the green light to maintain our ports, dredge our waterways and build the critical water infrastructure we need to create jobs and to protect the people and communities that power our nation’s economy.”
Press Release, May 28, 2014