HOUSE PASSES WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2020
(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (S. 1811) to authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Civil Works mission areas for the next two years, which include projects on: navigation, flood damage reduction, hurricane and storm damage reduction, shoreline protection and ecosystem restoration. A member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17) supported the legislation which passed the House with broad bipartisan support.
"This legislation is a major investment in jobs and infrastructure in my district and across the country," said Lamb. "We are prioritizing investment in projects that will help protect the health and safety of all Americans, including clean drinking water and flood mitigation."
Lamb fought for multiple provisions which were included in the final legislation. In April, Lamb co-led a bipartisan letter with Representative Brian Babin (TX-36) signed by 78 Members advocating for an adjustment to the cost-share for inland navigation projects. This policy change lays the groundwork for faster repairs to western Pennsylvania's critical locks and dams, and the final legislation ensures the cost-share is maintained for the next decade. Three inland navigation facilities in the Upper Ohio Navigation Project – the Emsworth, Dashields, and the Montgomery Locks and Dams – are at risk of catastrophic failure. WRDA 2020 is vital to completing these long-overdue repairs and modernization efforts.
In an additional letter to Committee leadership, Lamb advocated for raising the funding authorization threshold for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to address widespread problems specifically in rural and small communities pertaining to inadequate wastewater treatment, contaminated drinking water, and insufficient water supply. The bill also allows for Beaver County to access these funds for the first time.