CRAMER: Water Resources Development Act Supports Infrastructure for State Producers
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer praised the benefits to North Dakota producers and exporters in the projects funded by today’s passage of H.R. 5303, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The Senate passed similar legislation today and both bills now advance to a conference committee.
This legislation authorizes the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to carry out water resources development through cost-sharing partnerships with non-federal sponsors. These activities include navigation, flood damage reduction, shoreline protection, hydropower, dam safety, water supply, recreation, environmental restoration and protection, and disaster response and recovery.
“More than 60 percent of America’s grain and other agriculture exports, as well as fuel and coal, move through inland waterways like the Mississippi River,” said Cramer. “Maintaining and improving that transportation infrastructure is as crucial as good highways and railroads to North Dakota producers moving their products to domestic and international markets.”
Highlights of H.R. 5303 include:
- Reforms the Corps planning process, promotes timely project delivery, empowers non-federal project sponsors, and strengthens congressional oversight;
- Authorizes 27 new projects to improve navigable systems, strengthen flood-risk management, provide hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, and restore the environment;
- Follows a new, transparent approval process that was established by Congress in 2014;
- Puts Congress on a two-year cycle of addressing infrastructure—a much-needed return to regular order;
- Saves money by allowing needed water resources projects to move forward, preventing unnecessary increases in project costs;
- Keeps American jobs in America by strengthening competitiveness and ensures the transportation system remains attractive to private sector job creators;
- Fully offsets new authorizations;
- Ensures that authorizations for inactive projects will sunset to prevent future project backlogs;
- Reduces the inventory of projects that are not needed for the missions of the Corps, and
- Contains no earmarks.