Page 20: of Marine News Magazine (July 2014)

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On May 22, the Water Resources Re- form Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014, containing major recommenda- tions of the Capital Development Plan (CDP), was passed by a vote 91-7 in the Senate. As MarineNews was going to press, President Obama Þ nally signed the bill into law. The conference agree- ment had passed the House on May 20 by an overwhelm- ing 412-4 vote. The bill contains four key elements of the Capital De- velopment Plan that were included in the House WAVE 4 (H.R. 1149) and Senate RIVER Act (S. 407) bills, both strongly supported by WCI:  Olmsted Federalization: permanent cost-sharing for the remaining cost of the Olmsted project will be 85% General Fund, 15% Inland Waterways Trust Fund, free- ing up approximately $105 million per year for funding other Trust Fund priority projects with Olmsted funded at $150 million per year.  De nition of Major Rehabilitation Project Eligible for Inland Waterways Trust Fund: increased from cur- rent law level of $14 million to $20 million and ad- justed annually for in ation. Prioritization of Projects: based upon risk of failure and economic bene t to the Nation.  Project Delivery Process Reforms: based upon CDP-recommended reforms to better achieve on-time and on- budget performance. The bill also increases annual target appropriations levels for spending of funds from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), with full use of HMTF funds by 2025. Implementation of many provisions in WRRDA will not happen immediately, as the Corps and the Secretary of the Army Þ rst must develop and provide guidance with respect to the provisions before they can be implemented. Of WRRDAÕs passage, WCI Chairman Matt Woodruff said, ÒThe nationÕs towboat operators, shippers, and labor, port, conservation and agriculture stakeholder members of WCI applauded todayÕs passage of WRRDA. This bill Ð and, we hope, law Ð will create American jobs, increase U.S. exports, keep our nation competitive in world mar- kets, and enhance the reliability of the nationÕs waterways transportation mode and critical supply chain link. Today, Congress got it done and voted to keep America moving!Ó There are many champions whose leadership led to a strong WRRDA outcome. Chief among them are Senate En- vironment & Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member David Vitter, and House T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, Vice Chairman Jimmy Duncan, and Ranking Member Nick Rahall; House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs and Ranking Member Tim Bishop; Rep. Ed WhitÞ eld and Rep. Daniel Lipinski and the 31 co-sponsors of WAVE 4: Waterways are Vital for the Economy, Energy, EfÞ ciency, and Environment Act (H.R. 1149); and Senators Bob Casey, La- mar Alexander, Mary Landrieu, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Har- kin, and Al Franken for authoring The RIVER Act: Reinvest- ing in Vital Economic Rivers and Waterways Act (S. 407). Last January, at the State of the Union address, President Obama said, ÒWeÕll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by Þ nishing transportation and water- ways bills this summer.Ó OP/EDCOLUMNCongress Gets It DoneBy Michael J. Toohey, President and CEO, Waterways Council, Inc. July 201420 MNMN July14 Layout 18-31.indd 20MN July14 Layout 18-31.indd 206/18/2014 3:34:44 PM6/18/2014 3:34:44 PM

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