The following is the text of a news release from the Waterways Council Inc. (WCI):
(WASHINGTON) — Waterways Council Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Toohey issued the following statement regarding today’s mark-up and passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2016 by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee:
“We thank Chairman James Inhofe and ranking member Barbara Boxer for their collaborative efforts to develop a WRDA 2016 bill that addresses inland waterways system priorities. Particularly, we applaud the committee’s rejection of lockage fees/tolls to finance public-private partnerships (P3s) on the nation’s waterways. WCI is also supportive of the Senate bill’s authorization of $16.7 million in modification work for Calcasieu Lock in Louisiana, and for the Brazos Island Harbor project (funded with $116 million federal and $135 million non-federal funds). We also applaud the provision to remove Inland Waterways Trust Fund capital projects from the five-year/no funding deauthorization rule until Olmsted is substantially off the books. We appreciate the return to regular order of WRDA bills every two years. We look forward to working with Sens. Inhofe and Boxer, and all Senate members, to adjust the threshold for major rehabilitation as recommended by the Inland Waterways Users Board and the Capital Development Plan. A modern, efficient inland navigation system is a critical link in the transportation supply chain, ensuring U.S. competitiveness in world markets.”
Waterways Council Inc. is the national public policy organization advocating a modern and well-maintained national system of ports and inland waterways. The group is supported by waterways carriers, shippers, port authorities, shipping associations, labor and conservation groups, and waterways advocacy groups from all regions of the country. For more information, visit www.waterwayscouncil.org.