The following is the text of a news release from the American Waterways Operators:
(ARLINGTON, Va.) (June 10) — On behalf of the nation’s tugboat, towboat and barge operators, AWO President and CEO Tom Allegretti issued the following statement, praising policymakers for their bipartisan effort in crafting and passing the nation’s first waterways infrastructure bill in seven years:
“AWO applauds President Obama for signing this economically critical legislation into law and thanks his administration for recognizing that water transportation is an essential element of the nation’s multimodal transportation system. Today the president was joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who led the drive for passage of this legislation by overwhelming majorities in the House and in the Senate. He lauded their strong leadership and cooperation in the spirit of advancing American infrastructure and jobs, and we echo his praise.”
“This much-needed legislation will advance the reliability of the nation’s waterways infrastructure and ensure that funding for essential projects is allocated efficiently. Included in this law are important provisions of the Inland Waterways Capital Development Plan that will have a positive impact on the waterway transportation system and the American economy.”
“WRRDA is a victory for the nation. It helps ensure the continued safe, efficient and environmentally friendly delivery of critical cargo via the nation’s waterways. We are very pleased to see it signed into law.”
Allegretti specifically thanked the bipartisan leaders that led the WRRDA Conference Committee and joined President Obama at today’s signing ceremony, Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and David Vitter, R-La., chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; Reps. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., and Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and Reps. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, and Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., chairman and ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment.