WRDA: WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT

America’s marine transportation system is vital to our nation’s competitiveness and economic growth. The system safely, efficiently and cost-effectively transports hundreds of commodities like petroleum, coal, industrial chemicals, building materials and agricultural products to destinations within the United States and to deep water ports for export. The inland waterways and ports are maintained and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps), but it’s up to Congress to provide authority and funding for maintenance and operations.

 

The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) is the primary legislative vehicle through which specific projects are authorized while annual appropriations bills are the legislative vehicle that funds these projects. WRDA authorizes new projects for flood protection, port improvement and upgrades to the nation’s aging locks and dams infrastructure. Additionally, the legislation promotes projects that improve hydropower, municipal and industrial water supply, ecosystem restoration and recreational opportunities.

 

In 1986 Congress adopted a major overhaul of Army Corps programs and envisioned new WRDA legislation every two years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t happened that way. It’s been nearly six years since the previous WRDA passed in 2007 — and Congress had to override a Presidential veto to pass the legislation. Before that the previous authorization passed in 2000.

 

As a result, the Corps has been chronically underfunded and system maintenance has fallen behind. Critical new projects can’t get started and those projects that do receive funds move slowly as resources are stretched to meet multiple priorities.

 

The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure plans to consider H.R. 3080, the "Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2013," on September 19th and the Chamber is asking for your help. We urge you to support investment in our nation’s infrastructure and make this issue a priority. Please add your company/organization name below to be included in our letter to Congress.

 

For further information, please contact Drew Preston at dpreston@uschamber.com or (202) 463-5618.

 

On May 15, 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a WRDA reauthorization bill in a strong bipartisan vote of 83-14. Prior to that vote, the Chamber sent a multi-industry letter to the Senate urging them to take action on WRDA. To view the full text of the Senate letter with signatories, click here.


For More Resources, Click Here

 

To Send A Letter to your Representative, Click Here



 

 September, 2013

 

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

 

The undersigned organizations urge you to move forward on H.R. 3080, the “Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA),” as soon as practicable. Long overdue, H.R. 3080 would reform and authorize U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army Corps) Civil Works programs and policies related to navigation, flood risk management, recreation, infrastructure and environmental stewardship.

 

This legislation would be an important step toward providing critical economic benefits to the nation, its people and businesses. Strategic investments in the nation’s navigation network have a dramatic direct-employment effect on the hardest hit segment of the economy—construction—while simultaneously delivering substantial benefits to the country’s global competitiveness. Based on a 2012 report conducted by the Associated Equipment Distributors, one dollar spent on infrastructure construction produces roughly double ($1.92) the initial spending in direct and indirect economic output. The long-term impact is also significant, with a dollar in aggregate public infrastructure spending generating $3.21 in economic output (GDP) over a 20-year period.

 

Maintaining our nation’s Federal channels to constructed dimensions and deepening channels to ensure the U.S. continues to have a world-class maritime transportation system are of critical importance to the health of the port and barge industries and the businesses and jobs that rely on them. International trade accounts for more than a quarter of the nation’s GDP and more than 38 million American jobs.

 

The United States needs to create a modern lock and dam infrastructure on the nation’s inland waterways. Effectively, all of America’s exports in commodities such as coal, fuel oils, gasoline, crude petroleum, and agriculture products such as grain and soy beans are shipped by water. Waterways are critical to keeping our domestic supply chain competitive. There is a $14-per-ton cost savings for shipping on the inland waterways; this translates to farmer, shipper, and consumer cost savings, and reduced congestion on the roads and rails. However, while the private sector constantly updates its operations, our 21st century economy relies on 1930s-era technology for locks and dams.

 

Levees got a D- in the most recent American Society of Civil Engineers report card. A WRDA reauthorization bill should improve the safety of the nation’s dams and levees that protect communities, farms, manufacturing facilities and assets.

 

H.R. 3080 would deliver reforms and policies that would speed the Army Corps project delivery process, prioritize investments, provide resilience, protect communities, and keep faith with the Constitutional responsibility for supporting interstate commerce. Together, these results would create and sustain jobs and support the nation’s economy.

 

While a bill addressing a range of water issues and policies is not without some controversy, the United States should not miss opportunities to spur economic growth, improve our global competitiveness, and create jobs. We urge the House to move forward with consideration of H.R. 3080—the time to act is now.

Company/Organization*
Email*
First Name*
Last Name*
Title*
State*

Sincerely,

AEP River Operations
AGC of East Tennessee
AGRIServices of Brunswick, LLC
Alabama Associated General Contractors
American Apparel & Footwear Association
American Association of Port Authorities
American Commercial Lines
American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Iron and Steel Institute
American Public Works Association
American Society of Civil Engineers
Arizona Chaper Associated General Contractors
Arkansas Chapter Associated General Contractors
Arkansas Red River Commission/State of AR
Arkansas Waterways Commission
Ashland Pharmacy
Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey
Associated Contractors of New Mexico
Associated Equipment Distributors
Associated General Contractors of Alaska
Associated General Contractors of America
Associated General Contractors of California
Associated General Contractors of Colorado
Associated General Contractors of Connecticut
Associated General Contractors of Georgia
Associated General Contractors of Greater Florida
Associated General Contractors of Illinois
Associated General Contractors of Iowa
Associated General Contractors of Kansas
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky
Associated General Contractors of Maine
Associated General Contractors of Metropolitan Washington DC
Associated General Contractors of Michigan
Associated General Contractors of Minnesota
Associated General Contractors of Mississippi
Associated General Contractors of Missouri
Associated General Contractors of New Hampshire
Associated General Contractors of New York State
Associated General Contractors of North Dakota
Associated General Contractors of South Dakota
Associated General Contractors of St. Louis
Associated General Contractors of Tennessee
Associated General Contractors of Texas
Associated General Contractors of Utah
Associated General Contractors of Vermont
Associated General Contractors of Virginia
Associated General Contractors of Washington
Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Association of Ship Brokers and Agents
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association
Automobile Club of Southern California
Big River Coalition
Blue Valley Industrial Association
Buffalo Niagara Partnership
Calcasieu River Waterway Harbor Safety Committee
Canal Barge Company
Carolinas Associated General Contractors
Caterpillar
Caterpillar Inc.
Central Illinois Builders of AGC
Clay & Bailey Mfg. Co.
Clearwater Hydrology
Colorado Contractors Association
Columbiana County Port Authority
Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania
Contractors Association of West Virginia
DSC Dredge, LLC
Everglades Trust
Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce
General Building Contractors Association
General Contractors Association of Hawaii
Granite Construction Incorporated
Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce
Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association
HNTB Corporation
Holcim (US) Inc.
Idaho Associated General Contractors
Illinois Farm Bureau
Infrastructure Council of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Ingram Barge Company
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ( Seaway Task Force Coalition)
International Liquid Terminals Association
International Propeller Club of the United States
Iowa Corn Growers Association
Jeffboat LLC
John Deere
Kansas City Industrial Council
Kansas Contractors Association
Lake Carriers' Association
Las Vegas Chapter Associated General Contractors
Louisiana Associated General Contractors
Louisiana Maritime Association
MS Water Resources Association
Maersk Inc
Maritime Exchange for the DE River and Bay
Marquette Transportation Company, LLC
Maryland Associated General Contractors
Mid-America Intermodal Port
Mississippi Valley Branch Associated General Contractors
Missouri Port Authority Association
Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC)
Montana Contractors Association
NCI Building Systems Inc
National Association of Maritime Organizations
National Grain and Feed Association
National Levee Issues Alliance
National Marine Manufacturers Association
National Retail Federation
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
National Waterways Conference, Inc.
Nebraska Building Chapter-Associated General Contractors
Nevada Chapter Associated General Contractors
New Mexico Building Branch Associated General Contractors
Ohio Contractors Association
Oldcastle, Inc.
Olsson Associates
Oregon-Columbia Chapter Associated General Contractors
Pacific Northwest Waterways Association
Port of Galveston
Port of Portland
Portland Cement Association
Ports
Ports Association of Louisiana
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
R. M. Foti Engineering
Red River Waterway Commission
Retail Industry Leaders Association
South Florida Chapter Associated General Contractors
Southern Illinois Builders Association
St. Charles Parish Government
St. James Parish Government
The Fertilizer Institute
The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Fairness Coalition
The National Industrial Transportation League
The Port of Virginia
The Propeller Club of the U.S. Port of New Orleans
The Water Resource Coalition
The Waterways Journal, Inc.
Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials
Virginia Maritime Association
Waterfront Coalition
Waterways Council, Inc.
World Trade Center New Orleans
ben Dyer Associates Inc