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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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WRDA Reauthorization

Support Long-Term Investment for Water Resources Navigation, Flood Control and Environmental Restoration.

Background:

  • Historically the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) authorizes water resources projects and policies for navigation, flood control, hydropower, recreation, water supply, and emergency management for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers. Although a WRDA was recently enacted in November 2007, it took seven years to reauthorize this traditionally biennial legislation. Enacting a WRDA early in the 111th Congress will put this critical legislation back on schedule and continue to provide the nation with a comprehensive and modernized water resources program

AGC Message:

  • The Water Resources Development Act Should be Enacted on Schedule to Meet the Nation's Economic, Safety and Transportation Needs. WRDA reaffirms the government's pledge to authorize, modify, and improve projects, programs, and policies protecting the nation from floods and keeping our waterways open to navigation. Regular authorizations of water resources development projects fulfill these important missions. Accordingly, congress must regularly authorize and invest in new waterways projects to secure our nation. Failure to properly invest in flood protection efforts, which have been underway since the late 1800's, would leave hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and other critical infrastructure vulnerable to devastating floodwaters.
  • Waterways Projects Grow the Economy. Waterways programs foster economic development, facilitate trade and commerce, aid international competitiveness, stimulate employment, provide water recreation opportunities, enhance agricultural and industrial productivity, and augment our national defense. Historically, such programs have had numerous benefits - Flood damage reduction projects alone have prevented an estimated $706 billion in damages - an eight-to-one return on the Federal government's investment; and Operations and Maintenance work provides an average of $14.10 return for every dollar invested. In the Mississippi Valley and Tributary System, more than $24 in damages is saved for each dollar spent.
  • Oppose Efforts to Add Additional Layers of Regulation Designed to Create Impediments to Improving Waterways Infrastructure. All waterways projects undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers already undergo unparalleled economic and environmental review. Corps environmental policies require a thorough cost/benefit analysis which seeks to maximize net national economic development benefits, consistent with protecting the environment. The data show that the Corps is meeting its obligations and complying with the law.

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