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Public Statements

Water Resources Development Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SCHUMER. Madam President, I would like to engage in a colloquy with the Senator from California, the chair of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, as well as the Senators from New Jersey, Senators LAUTENBERG and MENENDEZ, and my colleague from New York, Senator Gillibrand.

I thank the chair for her leadership in bringing the Water Resources Development Act to the Senate floor to address the urgent need for investment in our Nation's waterways, port infrastructure, and for coastal flood protection. It is my hope that this bill will be passed quickly. The Sandy relief bill provided over $5 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to construct and repair authorized hurricane protection projects in States devastated by Superstorm Sandy. A $20 million comprehensive study was included in order to analyze the flood risks of the east coast with the congressional intent and authority for the corps to move to specific feasibility studies. However, it is currently our understanding that the Corps of Engineers does not intend to provide specific project recommendations in this study that will result in feasibility studies. I am pleased that I was able to work with you, Chairman Boxer, and my colleagues from the affected States, to add language to this bill that addresses this issue. I would like to clarify the intent of the language.

Will the language in section 3004 of the water resources development bill result in specific project recommendations for the Corps study?

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Mr. SCHUMER. I am pleased that this matter concerning the additional funds for the Great Lakes has been clarified. The chairman has gone to great lengths to address important national priorities in this bill, including providing funding for our high-use, deep draft ports--like those in New York, Los Angeles/Long Beach and Oakland--and supporting unique commercial navigation systems like the Great Lakes. I also want to make sure that these funds are distributed to harbors in the Great Lakes that have been ignored by the corps over the years. Chairman Boxer, is that the intent of the language in section 8004 of the bill, that additional priority funds could be used for any Great Lakes navigation project, including those that handle lower levels of freight, measured by tonnage?

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