Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today hailed the passage of a bill that invests in critical water infrastructure projects.
"Improving our waterways and water infrastructure safeguards our communities, keeps our economy competitive, and is good for our environment," said Rockefeller. "This bipartisan bill does so much, and benefits West Virginians by providing critical funding for flood prevention and storm management--which saves lives and prevents costly repairs in the wake of floods. The bill also invests in our inland waterways and ports, and makes it easier for the Army Corps of Engineers to fund important projects throughout the country, and importantly for West Virginia along the Ohio River."
The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) was last passed in 2007, and must be reauthorized by Congress as needed. Reauthorization of WRDA helps to modernize water infrastructure to keep up with the country's needs by funding improvements to locks, dams, and other infrastructure, and funds flood and storm management programs.
The Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA) will:
* Improve Inland Waterways. The bill will implement reforms to the current Inland Waterways system to improve project management and delivery, and lower costs.
* Allow the Army Corps of Engineers to accept funding from non-Federal interests. The bill helps accelerate important projects, including the expansion of lock operations, by giving the Corps greater flexibility in accepting non-Federal funding for Corps initiatives.
* Create a new financing and loan program for water projects. The bill establishes a new project financing program that will provide loans and loan guarantees for flood control, water supply, and wastewater projects.
* Reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration Program. The bill will reauthorize the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Restoration Program that includes West Virginia.