The Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 is one of the most policy and reform focused measures of its kind in the last two decades. WRRDA streamlines the project delivery process, promotes fiscal responsibility, and strengthens our water transportation networks to promote competitiveness, prosperity, and economic growth. WRRDA contains no earmarks and makes major reforms to increase transparency, accountability, and Congressional oversight in reviewing and prioritizing future water resources development activities.
Tom Reed writes:
“We’re making the process more open and transparent based on merit and benefits to taxpayers – not earmarks,” Reed said. “We’ve also streamlined the review process so that applicants aren’t held back by bureaucratic red tape and projects are completed in a timelier, efficient way. Caring for our water infrastructure network in a transparent way supports jobs, improves our global competitiveness and gives hardworking taxpayers a fair return on their investment.”
Tom claims that the bill makes underserved harbors, including Dunkirk Harbor, Cattaraugus Creek and Barcelona Harbor in a better position to take advantage of federal funding, and that by excluding earmarks, funding projects will be applied to and approved for based on merit and competitiveness. Can both claims be true?
Rep. Candace Miller (R-MI) writes:
“I am extremely pleased to announce that our final bill includes provisions that will significantly benefit our Great Lakes, including my provision originally incorporated in the House bill that will, for the first time ever, designate all ports and harbors on the Great Lakes as a single, comprehensive navigation system. This new designation will finally allow the Great Lakes to present a unified front when competing against coastal regions for federal funding and resources. The final bill also increases the funding provided by the federal Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for our harbors and maritime infrastructure.”
Can the bill benefit the Great Lakes as Rep. Miller claims and still prioritize projects properly?
The bill is said to reduce overall spending by cancelling obsolete projects while funding new projects. Does this make sense? If the need for investment in infrastructure exists as claimed, wouldn’t increased spending be in order? Can the bill streamline project approval with endangering the environment? One wonders.
© William Hungerford – May 2014