The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has applauded leaders of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the Senate’s Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee for their success in advancing S.2848, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016.
The Senate passed its version of the legislation yesterday by a vote of 95 to 3.
“AAPA commends EPW Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) and EPW Committee and T&I Subcommittee Minority Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA), together with T&I Subcommittee Chairman David Vitter (R-LA), for their leadership in moving this crucial, bi-partisan legislation through the Senate,” stated AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle.
“Americans need this crucial legislation to pass in order to fortify our freight transportation infrastructure, create good-paying U.S. jobs, grow our economy and enhance our international competitiveness.”
The Senate’s WRDA bill maintains many AAPA requests, including modernizing the cost-share formula for channel deepening projects, from 45 feet to 50 feet, which hasn’t been updated in 30 years, even though there have been seven generations of containerships deployed during this period (with ship sizes increasing from 3,000 to 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs).
Modernizing the channel deepening cost-share formula would make it similar to the maintenance cost-share formula.
The Senate bill also addresses another AAPA request to extend the authorization to provide funds to Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund donors and energy transfer ports, which Mr. Nagle cited as “an important equity issue.”
Additionally, it includes revisions to streamline and expedite existing projects, as well as authorize eight new navigation developments for 21st century freight movement in the global marketplace.