House panel OKs funding boost for inland waterways

(WASHINGTON) — Thursday night, the House Committee on Appropriations approved by a vote of 34-24 the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Energy and Water Development (E&W) appropriations bill. Included in the bill are community project funding (CPF) requests for Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) construction projects.

Overall proposed funding for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works is $9.57 billion, an increase of $910 million above FY23’s appropriated level, and $2.16 billion above President Biden’s FY24 budget request.

FY24 funding for construction projects on the inland waterways is $455.97 million, with $159.6 million from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. The IWTF construction projects included are the following:

• Chickamauga Lock (Tennessee River): $236.8 million
• Lower Monongahela (Monongahela River, Pa.): $41 million
• McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) Three Rivers (Ark.): $103.17 million
• Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), navigation portion (Ill.): $75 million.

Waterways Council Inc. photo

The Corps’ investigations account funding is $136.09 million, a decrease of $36.4 million from the FY23 enacted level and $6.25 million above the FY24 request. The Waterways Council Inc. (WCI) secured an investigations request through the CPF process:

• Bayou Sorrel Lock Replacement Study (La.): $800,000

Funding for operations and maintenance (O&M) is $5.50 billion, an increase of $418.12 million above FY23 and $1.19 billion above the administration request.

“WCI is grateful to the House Appropriations Committee and the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee for increasing funding from $0 in the president’s budget request for construction of inland waterways priority projects to $456 million. This will continue critical modernization on the nation’s inland waterways, a vital part of our transportation supply chain,” said Tracy Zea, president and CEO of the Waterways Council Inc.

– Waterways Council Inc.

By Rich Miller