Washington, D.C. - October 15, 2018 - (The Ponder News) -- Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO, 5th) applauds the congressional passage of S.3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act, commonly referred to as WRDA. This bill would give the Army Corps of Engineers the authorization to begin navigation, flood control, storm damage and other water infrastructure projects across the country. The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the bill, H.R. 8, by a vote of 408-2 on June 6, 2018. House and Senate committee leaders negotiated a compromise bill, which became S. 3021. Now the bill will go to the President for his signature.
“This is an effort that spans several years in the making. I’ve worked with my Republican colleagues to make sure that language was included to ensure smooth coordination of the two major parts of our local Kansas City Levees project. I’m glad we could work together to support this project and make sure several Kansas City areas are protected from flooding ,” said Congressman Cleaver.
The bi-partisan bill would include several important elements:
• Extend annual authorizations for dam and levee safety activities through fiscal 2023.
• Authorizes $110 million a year for watercraft inspections in the Columbia, Missouri, Colorado, South Platte, and Arizona river basins to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species into those watersheds.
• Authorize $75 million to the Corps to conduct a 10-year pilot program to award single contracts for multiple hurricane and storm damage reduction projects in an area.
• Authorize $125 million to be used in each of fiscal 2020 and 2021 for state public water system supervision programs.
• Establishes a task force on stormwater infrastructure funding.
• Authorizes $225 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and in 2020 for grants to states for projects to prevent combined sewer overflows and address stormwater.
Congressman Cleaver has been an advocate for improving flood control projects in the Kansas City area under WRDA for many years. With recent appropriations and the WRDA bill, several flood control projects in the Kansas City area will have enough funding to be completed.
• Turkey Creek Basin is fully funded and expected completion is in 2020.
• Dodson Industrial District (Blue River Basin) is fully funded and will be completed in summer of 2020. This project will provide 500-year flood protection for 1,500 people and $380 Million in property for local businesses.
• Swope Park Industrial Area was fully funded this year and will be completed in 2022. The new bridge over the levee will provide safe passage for over 400 people who work in the area.
• Kansas City Levees was fully funded with the supplemental appropriations package earlier this year. This legislation would be the second WRDA measure to be enacted under the process established by the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act.