The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday unanimously approved H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016.
This bipartisan legislation will address the needs of America’s harbors, locks, dams, flood protection and other water resources infrastructure and help strengthen the Nation’s economic competitiveness.
WRDA 2016 is Congress’ return to the regular, biannual process of authorizing projects and activities related to the key missions of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, including developing and maintaining the Nation’s waterway infrastructure and supporting effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs.
The legislation, which contains no earmarks, maintains the strong bipartisan reforms included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, and adheres to the new transparent process established in that law for congressional review of proposed Corps water resources development activities.
“The Water Resources Development Act of 2016 includes several critical provisions and reforms to maintain and strengthen our ports, harbors and waterways, while boosting our nation’s economic competitiveness,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio.
“This legislation will create and sustain jobs, strengthen our coastal communities, and ensure that funds collected in the Harbor Maintenance Fund will be used for their intended purpose – harbor maintenance.”
Following the review process established in the 2014 law, WRDA 2016 authorizes 28 Army Corps of Engineers Chief’s Reports submitted to Congress since the enactment of the previous measure.
Chief’s Reports are the final recommendation to Congress by the Corps’ Chief of Engineers for water resources infrastructure priorities.
These infrastructure improvements have been proposed at the local level, in cooperation and consultation with the Corps, and provide national economic and environmental benefits.
All Chief’s Reports included in WRDA 2016 were the subject of Committee hearings this year.