Posted September 18, 2013
 
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) announced its support for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013.  According to the AFBF, “repairs, construction and upgrades to America’s waterways and marine transportation system will help ensure the reliability of the nation’s most affordable, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable mode of transporting agricultural products.”  The AFBF press release is available here.
 
H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), was introduced by Representatives Bill Shuster (R-PA), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and Timothy Bishop (D-NY), and will help modernize the lock and dam infrastructure on the inland waterways system while also making necessary investments in the nation’s shipping ports.
 
According to AFBF President Bob Stallman, 41 states, including all states east of the Mississippi River, are served by commercially navigable waterways and “more than 60 percent of America’s grain exports and many other important commodities such as fuel, coal and other agricultural inputs also move through our inland waterway system.”
 
H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), was introduced by Representatives Bill Shuster (R-PA), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Bob Gibbs (R-OH) and Timothy Bishop (D-NY).  This legislation would re-authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to “develop, maintain, and support the nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure needs, and support effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs” according to an Agri-Pulse article, available here.  The text of the bill is available here.
 
Congress has not reauthorized water resources development since 2007.  Historically, however, Congress would “act on it about every two years.”

 

The Senate version of the bill, S. 601, was passed in May with “strong bipartisan support.”  The Senate bill “aims to promote investment in the nation’s critical water resource infrastructure, accelerate project delivery, and reform the implementation of Corps projects.”  Supporters say this bill would create up to 500,000 new jobs.
 
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