WRDA 2018 - House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee

08 Jun 2018 5:01 PM | Tom Poer (Administrator)

MOARC continues to monitor congressional action on a 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill and continues its communication with both the House and the Senate offices and committees regarding a 2008 WRDA bill.  The Senate previously released its version of a WRDA bill providing opportunities for water resource development in the region.

The House Transportation and Instructure Committee (T&I) released a WRDA bill on 31 May 2018 for the House of Representatives to approve in the near future.  The House WRDA bill reflects general requirements for the Corps of Engineers to incorporate in its processes and report on as well as authorizes several new feasibility studies or construction projects across the nation.  The WRDA bill recognizes the benefits of water resource development to the nation providing economic prosperity, national security, and environmental protection.  The bill further states the intent to consider a WRDA not less than once each Congress. 

Unlike the Senate Environment and Public Works committee version of WRDA, the House did not address proposed language for combining previous authorizations of the Kansas City’s Levees into a single authorization to provide for more efficient budgeting as requested by MOARC and KCIC.  Within the proposed WRDA bill language there are items of note that would affect future water resource projects.  Included in the proposed legislative language are: 

  • Making Harbor and Maintenance Trust Funds available to the Secretary of Civil Works for navigation purposes after fiscal year 2029 without further appropriation. 
  • Affirmation of Congress’ intent to use the Section 7001 process for consideration of future project authorizations and directs the Corps of Engineers to provide more effective outreach and assistance on the Section 7001 process for proposed authorizations.
  • Clarification of the word ‘work’ in Section 408 to not include unimproved project lands. 
  • Unimproved lands would not have to have Section 408 reviews conducted if the Secretary determines there is no effect on a federal project. 
  • Direction of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the economic principles and analytical methodology used by the Corps of Engineers to formulate, evaluate, and budget for water resource projects.  The analysis would address the methodologies in determining both benefits and costs in formulation of a plan and assess how the Corps is using the National Economic Development, Regional Economic Development, Environmental Quality, and Other Social Effects accounts in the formulation process.

WRDA will continue to move formally through each congressional branch through the summer and a conference committee will be established to finalize a single bill, the conference report, for House and Senate approval.  Upon passage by both chambers that could then become the WRDA 2018 bill and be sent to the President for review and enactment, which can occur with the President’s signature, or possibly without it in absence of a veto.  MOARC will continue to track WRDA progress and provide updates to our membership and information to our Congressional delegation.



 

MOARC Association
PO Box 22647
Kansas City, MO 64113



MOARC promotes the beneficial use of water and land related resources for the Missouri and associated rivers in the areas of    
Agriculture, Environment, Flood Damage Reduction, Navigation, Recreation, Shipping and Ports, Power, Water Quality and Supply.   

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