Lindsay Mitchell

Sep 15, 2016  |  Today's News

Consensus might be hard to find in Washington, DC, but it seems that the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) just might have found it in the Senate.  The Senate passed the bill today with a vote of 95-3. 

Both Illinois Senators Durbin and Kirk voted in favor.

Notable highlights of the bill include:

  • Rejects lockage fees/tolls to finance Public-Private Partnerships (P3s).
  • Adds a provision to remove Inland Waterways Trust Fund capital projects from the five-year/no funding de-authorization rule until Olmsted is substantially off the books, which would open more funding for the Navigation Ecosystem Sustainability Project (NESP), a high priority project for the IL River.
  • Language included in the manager’s amendment, championed by Senator Deb Fischer (NE) that will fully exempt animal feed from the EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations, which is a huge win for livestock. Additionally, the language will exempt up to 2000 gallons of capacity on remote parcels, as long as the remote parcel tanks aren’t larger than 1,000 gallons each. This is compromise language between Senator Fischer, Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Boxer so we fully expect this language to be in the Senate passed bill.

Reports indicate that the House may take up their version of the bill next week with hopes of reconciling the Senate and House bills while members are out of session prior to the election.