|!|AAPA and its U.S. member ports applaud the 361 members of the U.S. House and the 79 members of the U.S. Senate for their leadership and insight in voting this week to override the President’s veto of the Water Resources Development Act legislation. This is a crucial and long-delayed bill that will begin the process of addressing America’s water resources infrastructure needs ranging from navigation system and flood control improvements to restoring wetlands and repairing the damage wrought by the 2005 hurricanes|!| said Kurt Nagle president and chief executive officer of the American Association of Port Authorities.
|!|Now that this important legislation has become law AAPA will continue to advocate for America’s critical water resources infrastructure and we will continue to work with Congress to ensure that future WRDA bills get back on a biennial cycle so this nation is never again faced with a seven-year backlog of water resources projects waiting to be authorized|!| Nagle added.The 2007 WRDA authorizes the projects and policy revisions in the bill (http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/PDFs/wrda07_001_xml.pdf). However funding appropriations for any of the WRDA bill provisions will require separate action and further review by Congress.
WRDA 2007 addresses seven years of accumulated U.S. Army Corps of Engineers programs including navigation projects policies and procedures necessary to keep pace with today’s burgeoning trade. Although the legislation is supposed to be biennial the last WRDA bill was signed into law in 2000. In the intervening years demand for critical water resources projects has continued to mount as have the costs to implement them.
Numerous projects and provisions in the WRDA will help address important navigation waterway infrastructure needs. Included are projects for navigation channel improvements dredged material disposal and storage facilities and policy provisions to improve the Corps of Engineers project implementation process. Policy provisions supported by AAPA include expanding the use of Corps dredges in the Pacific Northwest and providing for joint federal/local legal liability for project cooperation agreements or PCAs.