Senate committee advances bipartisan WRDA Sarah Gonzalez May 23, 2024

Senate committee advances bipartisan WRDA

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works unanimously advanced the Thomas R. Carper Water Resource Development Act of 2024 (WRDA) on May 22, authorizing navigation and ecosystem restoration projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).

“Today’s markup demonstrates the dedication of Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and fellow lawmakers to maintaining waterways infrastructure legislation on a biennial basis in a bipartisan fashion,” NGFA said in a press release issued after the markup. NGFA also thanked Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and Subcommittee Ranking Member Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., for their efforts on WRDA.

In addition to authorizing 81 feasibility studies and eight new or modified construction projects, the bill directs the Corps to expedite the completion of several ongoing studies and projects from past WRDAs. The bill also permanently increases the federal cost-share for inland waterway projects to 75 percent, with 25 percent from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (adjusted from 65/35). It also provides full federal funding for projects funded in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

A committee summary of the bill is available here.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is expected to hold a markup of its version of WRDA in June. The NGFA will advocate for the cost-share and funding provisions of the Senate WRDA to be included in any final bill.

WRDA is authorizing legislation that Congress passes every two years. The funding of WRDA-authorized projects is provided through the annual Energy and Water Development appropriations process and supplemental appropriations.