Senator Portman Secures Bipartisan Reforms in WRDA

U.S. Senator Rob Portman has announced that bipartisan language he co-authored was included in The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) report released yesterday.

These reforms aim to end Flint-like water crises, prevent inappropriate disposal of dredged materials from the Cleveland Harbor and renew the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

“We must protect Lake Erie and ensure access to clean drinking water around the country, and this bill makes important progress on both goals,” said Portman.

”I look forward to the Senate passing this important legislation and the President signing it into law as quickly as possible so we can protect our Great Lakes and ensure that every American has access to clean water.”

The Water Resources Development Act conference report includes the following Portman-led initiatives:

  • The legislation includes language that would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from determining that dredged material is safe to dump into Lake Erie from the Cleveland Harbor dredging project unless the Ohio EPA agrees. It ensures that the Army Corps of Engineers complies with state water quality standards when determining the Federal Standard for disposing of dredged material;
  • The legislation requires the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study on the final flood control, ecosystem restoration and recreation components of Cincinnati Riverfront Park. This will authorize an additional $30 million to complete the park if the study determines the components are feasible;
  • The final bipartisan Portman reform included is the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act, which he worked on with Senator Amy Klobuchar. This legislation provides critical resources to conserve and restore fish and wildlife populations in the Great Lakes, etc.

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