Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) has announced its strong support for WAVE 4 -- “Waterways are Vital for the Economy, Energy, Efficiency, and Environment Act of 2013” (H.R. 1149) that was introduced by Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), along with co-sponsor Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL). Additional co-sponsors include Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX).
WCI, along with 200 stakeholders, support WAVE 4, initially introduced in the 112th Congress as H.R. 4342, to modernize the lock and dam infrastructure on the inland waterways system. This legislation incorporates the elements of the Inland Waterways Capital Development Plan and will equitably address the critical needs of the inland waterways system, create American jobs, enable growth in U.S. exports, and continue to fuel multiple economic benefits that the nation’s waterways generate.
The Capital Development Plan and WAVE 4 apply objective criteria to prioritize essential construction and major rehabilitation projects, revise current beneficiaries’ cost-sharing for these projects, reform the Corps of Engineers’ internal project delivery process, and suggest a revenue enhancement – a 30 to 45% increase in the existing user fee the navigation industry pays – to fund vital infrastructure investments that return so much to the American economy and to consumers.
“WCI expresses its gratitude to Congressmen Whitfield, Lipinski, Cassidy, Bachus and Olson for their forward-thinking approach and leadership in addressing the critical needs of the nation’s inland waterways infrastructure through this legislation. WAVE 4 will modernize the inland navigation system’s infrastructure to the benefit of the U.S. agricultural sector, construction and labor industry, energy sector, as well as our environment, our economy, and all the beneficiaries of the waterways system,” said WCI President/CEO Michael J. Toohey.
WCI urges Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation to incorporate the elements of the WAVE 4 bill, as well as the Reinvesting in Vital Economic Rivers and Waterways (RIVER) Act of 2013 – S. 407 – the Senate companion bill, co-sponsored by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tom Harkin (D-IA).