Senator Wicker: Water Resources Bill is Win for Mississippi (USA)
U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) on Wednesday praised passage of the “Water Resources Development Act of 2013” (S. 601) by the U.S. Senate.
The bill, which passed by a vote of 83-14, supports the development of water-related resources and authorizes the Secretary of the Army to construct projects for improving U.S. rivers and harbors.
Senator Wicker championed provisions to support needed maintenance dredging at the Port of Gulfport, and smaller Mississippi River ports in Rosedale, Greenville, Vicksburg, Yazoo, as well as Claiborne.
“This bill is a significant win for Mississippi,” said Wicker, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee where the legislation originated. “Our state’s rivers and ports are vital to national trade, commerce, and our economic well-being. I am pleased the bill will ensure our state’s coastal and inland ports are properly maintained. It also advances many of Mississippi’s storm protection projects and provides needed relief to farmers.”
The “Water Resources Development Act” increases proceeds from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be prioritized for harbor maintenance and dredging. Currently, only a limited amount of revenues in the trust fund – generated by fees collected from shippers – are being used for their intended purpose.
Additionally, the water resources bill would support upgrades and repairs to water and wastewater facilities in communities struggling to comply with stricter regulations under the Clean Water Act.
Included in the measure was a provision to provide relief to smaller farms from costly new Environmental Protection Agency regulations that would have applied to fuel tanks of capacities normally used by family farmers. The amendment raised the exemption threshold from 1,320 to 10,000 gallons.
The last time Congress passed a Water Resources Development Act was in 2007. The bill now awaits House consideration.
Press Release, May 16, 2013