Wicker: Water Infrastructure Investments Advance

New Senate Legislation Would Improve Waterways, Ports, Flood Protection

April 28, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today voted in favor of advancing the “Water Resources Development Act” to the full Senate for its consideration. The bill would make targeted investments to the nation’s ports and waterways for the movement of goods and commerce, protect lives and property from floods, and restore vital ecosystems. The measure was passed by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

“The legislation represents a bipartisan commitment to investing in navigable and reliable water resources while boosting U.S. commerce, keeping prices down for consumers, and creating jobs,” Wicker said. “Updating these policies keeps American workers and businesses competitive. I am also pleased that the measure includes important funding to help small, rural, and underserved communities with their water infrastructure needs. Cities such as Greenville, Grenada, and Jackson could benefit from federal grants that would deliver safe, clean drinking water to people and offset the costs associated with burdensome unfunded EPA mandates.”

Additional benefits to Mississippi include:

  • Dredging shallow draft ports located on the Mississippi River, such as Natchez, Rosedale, Greenville, Claiborne County, and Vicksburg;

  • Authorizing the Army Corps to conduct regional assessments of coastal vulnerabilities and opportunities to increase resilience;

  • Increasing the spending cap for needed environmental infrastructure projects, such as one currently being done in DeSoto County;

  • Creating a Gulf Coast Oyster Bed Recovery Plan;

  • Updating the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by highlighting targets for increased funding, extending prioritization for donor and energy transfer ports and emerging harbors, and clarifying that the Corps can maintain harbors of refuge; and
  • Providing technical assistance for small communities who often lack the resources to comply with and complete the necessary applications to access federal wastewater funding programs.