Washington, D.C. — The following is a statement from Randall (Randy) S. Over, P.E., F.ASCE, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), regarding the passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“The American Society of Civil Engineers applauds the bipartisan passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The bill promotes economic growth and job creation through policies that strengthen U.S. infrastructure, allowing the nation to remain competitive in the 21st century.
“ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure graded the nation’s ports a C, inland waterways a D-, dams a D, and levees a D-. Our nation’s water resources are critical to our economy, our infrastructure, public safety, and the preservation and enhancement of our environmental resources. In fact, ASCE’s Failure to Act economic study on the nation’s marine ports and inland waterways shows that underinvesting in just these two sectors threatens more than one million U.S. jobs and $270 billion in U.S. exports by 2020.
“When signed into law, WRRDA will drastically reduce the time it takes for project approvals by consolidating or eliminating duplicative studies, permitting concurrent reviews, and streamlining environmental reviews. The reforms in the law are not at the expense of environmental quality and will allow for a stronger, safer national water resources infrastructure. In addition, ASCE strongly supports wording in the bill that will incrementally increase expenditures out of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund so that our nation’s ports can remain competitive on a global level.
“ASCE is pleased that Congress has collaborated to pass WRRDA and invest in America’s future. This decisive action will ensure that our nation’s ports, waterways, dams and levees receive the funding they require. We look forward to working with the conference committee as it develops a final Water Resources Development Act for the president’s signature.”
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 145,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.