USA - Chairs DeFazio, Napolitano Applaud House Passage of Bipartisan Water Resources Development Act of 2022
With the passage of WRDA 2022, Congress continues the tradition of enacting bipartisan WRDAs on a biennial basis to invest in America’s water resources infrastructure
Washington, D.C. – Today, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) applaud House passage of the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022.
WRDA 2022 will improve the nation’s water infrastructure by authorizing water resources development projects in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). This legislation will strengthen America’s economy through investments in ports, harbors, and inland waterways; make communities more resilient in the face of extreme weather and climate change; and protect and restore our ecosystems.
More information, including bill text, can be found here.
“The Water Resources Development Act of 2022—the largest and most ambitious WRDA bill to date—demonstrates that when Congress works together, it can pass legislation on a bipartisan basis that benefits communities across the country. WRDA 2022 helps provide much needed investment in ports, harbors, and inland waterways—easing supply chain problems—as well as flood mitigation infrastructure, and ecosystem restoration in both urban and rural communities alike. The bill also directs the Corps to carry out these projects in an economically and environmentally responsible manner, with an added emphasis on coordinating with state, local, and Tribal partners to execute projects equitably. I want to thank Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chair Napolitano and Ranking Member Rouzer for their important work on this legislation. I urge the Senate to act quickly so we can send a final bill to the President’s desk to be signed into law,” said Chair DeFazio.
“WRDA is our legislative commitment to investing in and protecting our communities from flooding events, restoring our environment and ecosystems, and keeping our nation’s competitiveness by supporting our ports and harbors. Through biennial enactment, our committee has addressed local, regional, and national needs through authorization of new U.S Army Corps of Engineers projects, studies, and policies that benefit every corner of the nation,” said Chair Napolitano. “We held four hearings in preparation for this bill, including a Member Day hearing, and had a formal process to receive legislative, policy, and project ideas from Members which resulted in over 1,500 ideas submitted, most of which were incorporated in the final bill. I am very pleased to join Chairman DeFazio, Ranking Member Graves, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Rouzer in bringing WRDA to the floor, and I thank all Members for engaging with the Committee on this bill and advocating for the needs of your districts.”
WRDA has been developed by the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee every two years since 2014.
Engineering News-Record reports that the bill provides $25.3 billion in financing. According to the committee’s chair, Peter DeFazio, this bill is the largest WRDA bill to date.
“WRDA 2022 helps provide much needed investment in ports, harbors, and inland waterways — easing supply chain problems — as well as flood mitigation infrastructure, and ecosystem restoration in both urban and rural communities alike,” said DeFazio in a press release. “The bill also directs the Corps to carry out these projects in an economically and environmentally responsible manner, with an added emphasis on coordinating with state, local, and Tribal partners to execute projects equitably.”
The ongoing legislation addresses water infrastructure funding and policy, as well as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) projects. Before it comes into law, WRDA 2022 will still need to pass the Senate.
This year’s bill provides significant support to USACE’s work, including:
- Authorizing the construction of 18 pending Reports of the Chief of Engineers
- Authorizing 72 feasibility studies for water resources development projects
- Expediting 14 of USACE’s ongoing feasibility studies
- Authorizing critical water and wastewater infrastructure assistants for community-driven projects associated with USACE
WRDA 2022 includes major assistance for water resource management specifically:
- Expanding USACE’s authority to address the future water supply needs of communities
- Establishing policy that USACE addresses the water resource development needs of all communities
The bill also provides major support for stormwater management:
- Authorizing USACE to rebuild and maintain breakwaters to address problems brought by climate change
- Authorizing USACE to rebuild and maintain storm damage reduction projects
- Clarifying the authority of USACE to study the impacts of costal storms on back-bay and riverine flooding
- Renewing Congress’s support for water resource projects that promote the sediment reuse for restoration or storm damage reduction
The bill includes directives that support environmental justice and economic functionality.