Senate Committee Unveils Latest Water Resources Development Act

AGC Opposes New USACE Hopper Dredge; Calls for Greater Water Infrastructure Investment
On May 14, AGC urged the U.S. Senate to make important changes to the authorizing biennial water resources bill, entitled America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (WRDA). While not a spending bill, WRDA authorizes billions in funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works (USACE) projects, including about $2.4 billion of new federal spending on six projects involving disaster recovery.
Among other recommendations to the bill, AGC proposed the following:

  • Exclude Section 3111 – authorization of appropriations for purchase of a hopper dredge by USACE;

  • Include Securing Required Funding for “Water Infrastructure Now Act” – a fiscally responsible approach to providing states over $10 billion annually for critical improvements to the country’s rural and urban water infrastructure. The act will provide state financing authorities WIFIA loans to support water and wastewater construction projects;

  • Include Regulatory Streamlining – Congress should require federal agencies to follow a one federal decision process, so there is just one NEPA review for a project that ends with a single record of decision issued by the lead agency;

  • Include Regulatory Transparency – AGC put forth its support for two regulatory transparency items: (1) a public database of USACE real property holdings as a means to help states, localities, and private industry to better plan for—or avoid entirely—issues any construction project could face under Section 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Act; and (2) a public database for USACE district and regional offices to disclose and accept public comments on changes to regulatory and general policies impacting water resources projects or state water quality certifications, as such policy changes can occur at the local or regional USACE office level with little or no input from the public.

AGC testified before the committee earlier this year, and you can read AGC’s list of recommendations by clicking here and here.
For more information, contact Jordan Howard at [email protected] or (703) 837-5368.

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