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House leaders unveil WRDA draft bill

Industry News, News | May 24, 2016 | By:

U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee leaders have released a draft of their bipartisan $5 billion Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). The bill will be introduced early next week and is slated to be marked up at the committee Wednesday morning.

To summarize the measure, the bill will authorize 28 new Army Corps of Engineers projects and offset those by deauthorizing $5 billion in older projects, according to NMMA. Unlike the U.S. Senate’s WRDA bill, the House’s version does not tackle municipal water infrastructure challenges. The Senate’s bill, which the Environment and Public Works Committee approved last month, has the most extensive changes to EPA’s programs in decades; it includes $220 million for the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis, and infrastructure upgrades for other U.S. communities.

In the House, oversight of EPA water programs is divided between the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which handles Clean Water Act issues, and the Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees Safe Drinking Water Act programs. WRDA’s backers plan to move the two bills through their respective chambers and to conference before Congress breaks for its long summer recess, according to NMMA.

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