U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine have applauded Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Development funding legislation, by a bipartisan vote of 90-8.
The first of 12 appropriations bills providing discretionary funding for the federal government, the bill provides funding for projects under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation at the Department of the Interior, the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The following projects include some of the provisions Senators Warner and Kaine advocated for on behalf of Virginia that were included in the appropriations bill:
- Norfolk Harbor and Port of Virginia:
The bill includes $10.3 million for the maintenance of Norfolk Harbor, as well as funds to complete the study phase of dredging the Harbor to its fully authorized depth of 55 feet, which will keep the Port of Virginia ahead of other East Coast ports in ability to accommodate the largest post-Panamax cargo vessels.
The bill also provides $50 million for donor and energy transfer ports, from which the Port of Virginia could receive $5 million. Finally, the bill increases the top-line Army Corps of Engineers construction account by some 40 percent above the amount requested by the President.
This increases the pool of funding available to ongoing infrastructure projects around the nation such as the Craney Island Eastward Expansion, which will expand the dredge fill facility at Craney Island and construct a new container terminal on the site, nearly doubling the cargo capacity of the Port of Virginia.
- Norfolk Resiliency:
The bill includes $575,000 for the City of Norfolk for analysis of municipal flood control needs. As a coastal city that floods regularly during normal storms and is projected to be at higher future risk due to sea level rise, Norfolk was one of nine focus areas identified in an Army Corps study of flood control needs along the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Maine.
This study money will make the City eligible for future federally-funded flood control infrastructure.
Norfolk has also been recognized for its innovative resilience work through a $121 million federal award from the National Disaster Resilience Competition, as well as by the Rockefeller Foundation in its worldwide 100 Resilient Cities program.