Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has reintroduced the Harbor Equity Act, legislation that will modify the existing criteria used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge small harbors.
Currently, the Corps’ prioritizes dredging solely for larger harbors that see 1 million or more tons in traffic per year – often forcing small community harbors to fund their own dredging or be forced to shut down operations.
The Harbor Equity Act will drop the minimum tonnage requirements and prioritize smaller harbors for dredging rather than just larger, commercial harbors.
According to Sen. Paul, the interconnectedness of the inland waterway system requires dredging of the smaller connecting harbors for an efficient transport of goods.
“The Corps’ current system makes dredge work for small harbors in Kentucky far from certain. Serving as the backbone for their local commerce, the closure of these harbors have significant and long-lasting impacts on the families in these communities. My bill will protect smaller ports from potentially facing shut-downs, by ensuring they are considered for the Corps’ dredging efforts,” Sen. Paul said.