Walden Vote Helps Override Veto of Water Resources Bill Key to Northwest Economy
Bill becomes law and frees up important channel deepening work on the Columbia River
Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) voted to override the President's veto of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) this week, a bill that will allow channel deepening to continue on the Columbia River and Coos Bay channels. The House overrode the veto on Tuesday by a 361-54 vote, and the Senate overrode the veto yesterday by a 79-14 vote, making the bill law.
"This action by Congress means we can remove the arbitrary and costly limitations on the number of days federal dredges can be used to deepen waterways of the Columbia River and Coos Bay channels to a depth that allows the region to take full advantage of these waterways' economic potential," Walden said. "For example, each ship in a deepened channel can carry an additional $1 million of wheat, which would reduce costs to growers and expand the U.S. export of wheat. A deeper channel means more jobs, more trade, and more energy efficiency for the Pacific Northwest."
According to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association:
ü The Columbia River Channel Deepening Project deepens the channel from 40 geet to 43 feet and thereby greatly expands the volume and value of commerce traded through the Columbia River system in Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho, and reaching into the Midwest.
ü The Columbia River handles more than $16 billion annually of traded goods, including serving as the largest gateway in the world for wheat growers and the third largest for grain growers.