WRRDA Conference Report Released

By Eric Haun
Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Conference Report to H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives today, introduced in the House by Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-W.Va.), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.).

H.R. 3080 passed the House by a vote of 417 to 3 on October 23, 2013. House and Senate conferees reached agreement on a final measure last week, and now both Houses of Congress must approve the Conference Report in order to send it to the President to be signed into law.

Members of the maritime community such as the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) have voiced strong support for the WRRDA initiative, citing port-related infrastructure as key to U.S. competitiveness.

Welcoming the 2014 WRRDA Conference Committee Report, AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said, “Having waited seven long years since passage of the last water resources authorization bill, our U.S. member ports are extremely pleased to see a final reauthorization bill. Our nation desperately needs this water resources legislation to fortify our infrastructure, create and maintain good-paying U.S. jobs, grow our economy and enhance America's international competitiveness.”

The AAPA said that upon learning the 2014 WRRDA is on its way to Congress for approval, it sent appreciation and congratulations to conference committee leaders Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) for their bipartisan leadership in bringing a negotiated water resources bill to the floor of Congress. Both Boxer and Shuster and were jointly named AAPA’s “Port Person of the Year” in March for advancing this crucial legislation, although both chose to wait to receive their award until the bill made it successfully out of conference for a final vote of Congress.

“This measure will strengthen our Nation’s transportation network, keep America competitive in the global marketplace, and reform and streamline the way we move forward with improvements to our ports, locks, dams, and other water resources infrastructure,” Shuster said. “This legislation is about jobs and our country’s economic prosperity, and I look forward to bringing it back to the House for a final vote.”

“This bill will advance the modernization of America’s waterways and ports—critical corridors of commerce that enable the efficient transport of American-produced commodities, including West Virginia coal,” Rahall said. “The investments made possible by this bill support jobs throughout the nation, on our waterways, our farms and fields, on shop floors and in our mines. WRRDA will lay the foundation for economic growth for many years to come, and I am grateful to my colleagues—House and Senate, Democratic and Republican—who worked so diligently to get us to where we are today. This bill proves that bipartisanship is still alive on Capitol Hill.”

Nagle noted that more than a quarter of America’s annual GDP is accounted for by international trade. “In order to strengthen the U.S. economy, we must ensure these goods can move efficiently in and out of America’s ports, without avoidable and costly delays caused by inadequate or poorly maintained infrastructure. The WRRDA authorization bill helps some of the critical waterside needs facing this nation.”

As noted by the AAPA, the water resources legislation includes a number of provisions that address the needs of America’s seaports. In particular, it:
•Establishes a pathway to full use of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT);
•Addresses HMT donor equity;
•Modernizes the maintenance dredging cost-share threshold;
•Authorizes new navigation channel improvements;
•Expedites the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation channel study completion process;
•Quickens the pace of project completions by enhancing partnerships.

“The bottom line,” Nagle said, “is this WRRDA bill will help enable the United States to enhance its maritime infrastructure and strengthen its position as a world leader in global trade. AAPA thanks the bipartisan leadership and urges swift final passage and enactment.”

He added, “By finalizing the 2014 WRRDA, conference committee members have demonstrated they recognize the significant benefits more modern, efficient seaport and waterway infrastructure will have on our nation’s economic vitality, job growth and international competitiveness, as well as the value in helping address federal fiscal realities through sizable tax revenues provided by the cargo and trade activity moving through these systems. Increased investments are needed to better maintain and improve the transportation infrastructure on our three coasts and the Great Lakes, linking America to the global marketplace.”

Nagle concluded, “America’s public ports – which create jobs for more than 13 million people and handle 99.4 percent of the tonnage of our nation’s overseas trade – together with their private-sector partners are investing over $9 billion annually in marine terminal infrastructure. We look forward to Congressional passage and President Obama signing this legislation, which will make important policy reforms and authorize badly needed maintenance and improvements to waterside connections with seaports.”
 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Last Saltie Departs Duluth; Lakers Make Final Push

Duluth-Superior’s international shipping season winds to a close as last saltie departs; Great Lakes freighters make final push to mid-January   This weekend

Fighting for Ports Escalates in Libya

Military planes loyal to Libya's recognised government attacked on Sunday an opposing force that is seeking to seize the country's two biggest oil ports, officials said.

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Environmental

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

News

Last Saltie Departs Duluth; Lakers Make Final Push

Duluth-Superior’s international shipping season winds to a close as last saltie departs; Great Lakes freighters make final push to mid-January   This weekend

Liquefaction Terminals to Draw Big Spending

Liquefaction terminals to dominate forecast LNG capital expenditure   Capital expenditure (Capex) on global liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities is expected

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

People in the News

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Damen Shipyards Galati wins Dutch Romanian Award

Damen Shipyards Galati has been presented with the Dutch Romanian Business Award for its Corporate Social Responsibility plan, particularly the Group’s community investment initiatives.

Lowrance Renews Insight Genesis College Cup

Lowrance®, a world-leading brand in fishing electronics since 1957— announced today the renewal of its Insight Genesis™ College Cup. In its second year, the

Government Update

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

MARAD Publishes US ATB, ITB Database

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) released what it is calling a first-of-its-kind public database that chronicles U.S.-flagged, privately owned domestic

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2661 sec (4 req/sec)