Water Infrastructure Bill Advances

The AGC-backed Water Resources Development Act—which authorizes Army Corps Civil Works Program projects—will likely advance to the president’s desk for signature into law.

The AGC-backed Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022) is attached to the National Defense Authorization Act (Division H – Water resources), paving the way to ensure passage. 

The bipartisan WRDA 2022 bill will help ensure that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Civil Works Program is appropriately responsive to the water resources needs identified by local communities. Specifically, the bill authorizes 94 new feasibility studies and the construction of 25 water resource projects. WRDA 2022 invests in our harbors and inland waterways, which helps to ensure construction materials make it to the jobsite in a timely manner. WRDA 2022 also makes permanent the cost-share adjustment from 50% for Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)/50% General Revenues to 35% IWTF/65% General Revenues. This cost-share provision was slated to expire in 2030. 

While WRDA 2022 is attached to the NDAA, Sen. Joe Manchin’s permitting reforms were not included. Among other things, Sen. Manchin’s permitting reforms included limitations on citizen suits on energy projects and shortened timelines for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews for renewable energy projects. The reforms were not included because some Democrats objected to their application to and speeding up of fossil fuel projects, while Republicans held the reforms did not go far enough and see increased leverage with control the House of Representatives in three weeks. 

House of Representatives will vote first on the WRDA 2022 / NDAA, and the Senate likely to vote early next week. AGC applauds Congress for the bipartisan efforts to develop the bill. For more information, contact Jordan Howard at [email protected] or (703) 837-5368.

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