Reed Votes for Water Infrastructure Upgrades
Tom Reed voted in support of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 Tuesday, making water infrastructure upgrades a reality for the nation’s ports and waterways. The bill that passed in the House by a strong bipartisan vote is the agreement reached between the House and Senate WRRDA bills. Through the WRRDA agreement, Congress authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) projects to develop and maintain water navigation infrastructure in the United States.
“Protecting our water infrastructure is a job shared by all levels of government and the federal government has a distinct role to play in caring for our network of waterways,” Reed said. “By helping to improve infrastructure, we’re really helping to support jobs, United States trade and our global competitiveness. With one-third of our GDP coming from international trade and 99 percent of that trade passing through our ports, there’s a clear need to protect that infrastructure.”
The 23rd district’s distinct water needs line up with the bill’s priorities, putting the area in a solid position to receive support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Of significant importance to the 23rd district are provisions that support underserved harbors in areas like Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbors and Cattaraugus Creek and the Great Lakes Navigation System. WRRDA also strengthens flood protection efforts and supports environmental restoration including combating invasive species.
The bill passed in the House Tuesday is fully paid for and deauthorizes $18 billion worth of old, inactive projects that were authorized prior to 2007. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation achieves its goal of improving water infrastructure without any earmarks attached.
“This is a model worth replicating for policy out of Washington: projects awarded based on merit and efficiency and passed without earmarks,” Reed continued. “The reforms make Congress set priorities with the highest-priority, most efficient projects being authorized – one way Washington will be held accountable to the taxpayers it works for.”
Once approved by the Senate, the House-passed bill will go to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The bill hasn’t been reformed or reauthorized since 2007.
Reed has long supported water infrastructure upgrades throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. In December, Reed welcomed the Brigadier General of the United States Army Corps of Engineers to the 23rd district for a tour of some of the district’s water infrastructure projects in most need to upgrading. Reed and Brigadier General Margaret Burcham were joined by local officials as they toured Chautauqua Lake, Dunkirk Harbor and Cattaraugus Creek.
More reforms included in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act here.