WEF Pushes Congress To Act on WRDA

On July 6, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) partnered with 15 water quality groups and local government associations to continue urging Congress to enact HR 5303 and S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016.

In a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, the organizations encouraged legislators to expedite the passage of WRDA, so it can be signed into federal law by the end of the year. The letter joins two past attempts to combat delays in this legislation, one from 16 water sector organizations and another from more than 87 other organizations including WEF.

Beside other provisions, WRDA would authorize 28 new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works projects to help ensure the health of American waterways and local economies. In the Senate version of the bill, authors cite a WEF/WateReuse report on the potential economic benefits of increasing water sector funding at the state and national levels.

Both versions of the bipartisan bill recently were approved by their respective committees.

On June 20, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and primary sponsor of S. 2848, released a statement applauding the cost-effectiveness of WRDA’s proposals and expressing hopes for broader Congressional approval.

“The Congressional Budget Office has confirmed that WRDA is fully paid for and even saves taxpayers $6 million over 10 years,” according to Sen. Inhofe in the statement. “This bill is a win for every member of Congress.”

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