Waterways Council praises passage of WRDA bill
The Waterways Council Inc. praised the Senate for its approval by a vote of 99-1 of America’s Water Infrastructure Act, which includes the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 that authorizes Corps of Engineers’ work on locks and dams, dredging and other water resources projects.
The House passed the WRDA legislation by voice vote last month, and the bill now heads to President Donald Trump for his signature.
WCI said the bill:
Does not include any authorization language that would allow for lockage fees and/or tolls on the inland waterways system. WCI continues to be opposed to additional taxation, tolling, lockage fees or adverse changes in cost-sharing for the Inland Waterways Transportation System.
▪ Authorizes 12 Army Corps of Engineers 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, WCI said.
▪ Directs the National Academy of Sciences 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.
WCI President and CEO Mike Toohey said, “The passage of WRDA 2018 is a win for the nation’s towboat operators, freight shippers, ports, and labor and conservation groups that rely on an efficient inland waterways system.”