The Senate has approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) by an overwhelming, bipartisan majority.
On Sept. 15, 2016, the U.S. Senate approved the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) by a 95-3 majority. This bill, if approved by the House, will authorize $10.6 billion for use by the Army Corps of Engineers to “address navigation, flood protection, and ecosystem improvement.” National Law Review
The bill also provides funding for “drinking water and waste water systems” including $220 million to enable Flint, Mich., and other municipalities to upgrade substandard water systems.
One hundred and twenty-five million dollars is allocated to allow “to immediately address coastal levees that are disintegrating…and…pay for the response costs of the Gold King Mine spill…”
Thirty projects are included in this bill. Association of California Water Agencies
The bill has the support of the construction industry, labor, environmentalists, and such diverse groups as the National Marine Manufacturing Association, the Center for Coastal Conservation, and the Boat Owners Association of The United States. Boating Industry
It appears legislators on both sides of the aisle want to get on board during an election year for a bill that creates jobs and repairs infrastructure throughout the country.
The House is considering similar legislation that is not as all-inclusive as the Senate bill. Political observers are cautiously optimistic that the House and Senate will negotiate a compromise and that the House will also reauthorize funding the WRDA.
The Water Resources Development Act addresses the increasingly dire state of the country’s infrastructure and stimulates the economy—especially the construction industry.
Let’s hope the final WRDA bill is passed in the next few weeks.
Senate Passes Water Resources Development Act; House to Consider WRDA This Week, Sarah G. Vilms, THE NATIONAL LAW REVIEW, Sept. 19, 2016;
U.S. Senate Passes Water Resources and Development Act, Pamela Martineau, Association of California Water Agencies, Sept. 19, 2016;
Senate passes Water Resources Development Act, Jonathon Sweet, Boating Industry, Sept. 20, 2016.