Garamendi Signs Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill Conference Committee Report
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), a Member of the Conference Committee for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), reviewed and signed off on its bicameral, bipartisan conference report – the final version of the bill. WRRDA authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding and policies for flood protection, ports, waterways, drinking water, environmental restoration, and dam projects.
“I am satisfied that this bipartisan water infrastructure bill will address problems in our district and across the nation,” said Congressman Garamendi. “This bill will help protect communities from devastating floods and threats to public health. It will also accelerate American business growth and job creation.”
- Authorizes the Sutter Basin Flood Protection Project on the Feather River;
- Authorizes the Natomas Levee Project;
- Accelerates the process for water infrastructure projects, based on the expedited “3x3” system that has been successful in California;
- Allows the Army Corps to make a decision on levee vegetation based on local circumstances, instead of indiscriminatingly clear cutting on the Sacramento river and elsewhere (background here); and
- Makes changes to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), so that more money in the fund actually goes to ports. Almost half of the fund is taken out each year to address general fund needs rather than going back into our ports. California pays more than it gets back. California ports have less dredging needs than other parts of the country, so they support the expanded use of the HMTF for project needs dockside, which is in the bill.
The Conference Committee was responsible for reconciling differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation. A vote on the bill is expected in the House before the end of the month.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in getting this bill signed into law and ensuring these projects receive the funding they need. It is vital that we invest in levees and other flood protection infrastructure to avoid catastrophic and preventable disasters,” said Garamendi.
Every one dollar invested in flood protection infrastructure adds seven dollars to the economy. 13 million jobs rely on water infrastructure. Learn more about WRRDA at https://transportation.house.gov/wrrda/.