House and Senate committee leaders reached a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation earlier this week, known as the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (House Amendment to S. 2800). Learn more about this news in this audio update with IL Corn and Waterways Council, Inc., President and CEO Mike Toohey.
By a voice vote, the House of Representatives passed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. WRDA 2018 passed on the House floor the first week of June by a vote of 408-2.
Highlights of the bill include:
- The bill does not include any authorization language that would allow for lockage fees and/or tolls on the inland waterways system. WCI has been adamantly opposed to any additional taxation, tolling, lockage fees or adverse changes in cost-sharing for the Inland Waterways Transportation System;
- Authorizes 12 Chief’s Reports, including one that will be funded by the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (Three Rivers in Southeast, Arkansas).
- Authorizes three project modifications, including the Post Authorization Change Report for Chickamauga Lock. This will ensure that Chickamauga can continue construction once the project has reached its original authorized amount;
- Directs the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to evaluate the current organizational structure of the Civil Works function of the Corps, to identify impediments to efficient project delivery, and to provide recommendations to Congress.
The WRDA bill now waits for the Senate to act in the coming weeks. WCI expects this bill to be on the President’s desk before the end of the month.