Citing it as a major victory for ports, the American Association of Port Authorities is hailing passage in the U.S. House today of H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The U.S. Senate will vote on the bill this Thursday, where easy passage is expected.
House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), a major WRRDA champion, cited the bill for cutting red tape, strengthening trade and creating jobs.
AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said, “We’re extremely pleased that WRRDA passed the House today. The overwhelming 412-4 vote indicates strong bipartisan support and recognition of the critical need to better maintain and improve our seaports to enhance America’s international competitiveness.”
Mr. Nagle further noted that this legislation “is a major victory for ports as it includes numerous AAPA policy priorities, including the need to modernize cost-share requirements and set a path to full use of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT).”
Another aspect of the bill provides more equity for HMT donor ports. The bill allows for expanded uses when spending increases and authorizes a separate program for HMT donor and energy ports.
Numerous other AAPA policy recommendations are included under the reform title of the bill. Many of these provisions are intended to streamline project study and delivery processes and allow more flexibility to ports that want to provide funding to advance navigation-related studies and projects.