The leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and Senate Environment & Public Works Committee released the conference report for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) last week.
The conference report includes multiple soybean industry priorities including provisions that will free up significant funding within the Inland Waterways Trust Fund for additional waterways infrastructure projects; increasing the level of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund dollars that will be spent on port maintenance and dredging; streamlining the Army Corps of Engineers’ project review process; increasing Corps flexibility to maintain navigation during low water events; and promoting the use of alternative financing and public-private partnerships to fund waterways infrastructure.
“This is a huge step forward to ensure the continued success of the soybean supply chain, and leaders in both the House and Senate deserve a great deal of credit for shepherding this bill through a challenging policymaking climate,” said American Soybean Association President and Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser. “Specifically, House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Shuster and Senate Environment & Public Works Chairwoman Boxer, Ranking Members Rahall and Vitter, and Subcommittee Chairman Gibbs and Ranking Member Bishop have exhibited exemplary cooperation and bipartisan leadership in the interest not only of farmers who need a reliable waterways system to move products to market, but the countless other industries that rely on that infrastructure as well.”
The conference report now goes before the full House and Senate, which is expected to occur this week.