The Senate approved America's Water Infrastructure Act, which includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018 this week by a vote of 99 to 1. S. 3021 authorizes Corps of Engineers' work on locks and dams, dredging and other water resources projects. The bill now heads to the President’s desk for signature into law. The House passed the WRDA legislation by voice vote last month.
“The Illinois Corn Growers Association has worked to build new locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers for many, many years. WRDA bills are always an exciting opportunity to move this issue forward, especially WRDA bills that are timely and that do no harm to the industry with tolls, fees, and additional taxes. This bill is both,” says President of ICGA Aron Carlson of Winnebago.
“This is a positive step forward, but we still have a lot of work to do to build the new, larger locks and dams that Illinois corn farmers really need,” said Carlson.
Much of the work in this bill will not directly impact the Illinois or Mississippi Rivers.
The bill authorizes 12 Chief’s Reports, including a river in Arkansas that will be funded by the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. It authorizes three project modifications, including the Post Authorization Change Report (PACR) for Chickamauga Lock near Chattanooga, TN. Finally, the bill directs the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to evaluate the current organizational structure of the Civil Works function of the Corps, to identify impediments to efficient project delivery, and to provide recommendations to Congress.