Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) issued the following statement after the House unanimously passed S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act, which includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018. This bipartisan legislation was first passed by the House in June and the final version will now be sent to the Senate for final consideration.
LaMalfa said: “This WRDA bill will help to provide continued stability and new development for NorCal water and flood control infrastructure, while outdated Army Corps of Engineers projects will be phased out in favor of newer and more beneficial projects. I’m pleased that new projects will be prioritized and the role of local stakeholders will be increased, which will benefit our local economy. Perhaps most importantly, local projects like the Sutter Basin levee project on the Feather River will now finally be permitted to proceed as planned. I support this bill and I expect the Senate will send it to the President in short order.”
In June, the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency (SBFCA) was granted $50 million in order to complete the Sutter Basin levee project under a pilot program established under WRDA 2014 that allowed the local agency to complete the work on their own. Unfortunately, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined the project was ineligible for this “local control” pilot program due to language in the WRDA 2014 that states projects can only be eligible if authorized “prior to the date of enactment.” In effect, it means the Sutter Basin levee project would have to be completed by the Army Corps, rather than the local agency that has completed the rest of the work at record time and nearly half the projected cost. S. 3021 specifically eliminates the clause “prior to the date of enactment” from WRDA 2014’s “local control” pilot program, allowing SBFCA to finish the project on their own with the $50 million granted in the Army Corps 2018 Workplan.
The Water Resources Development Act of 2018:
- Authorizes locally driven, but nationally vital, investments in our Nation’s water resources infrastructure.
- Strengthens economic growth and competitiveness, helps move goods throughout the country and abroad, and protects our communities.
- Repeals authorization for projects that are deemed inactive, outdated, or no longer useful, which would free up $4 billion for future projects.
- Follows the transparent process Congress established under the 2014 reforms for considering proposed Army Corps of Engineers activities.
- Builds upon previous reforms of the Corps to further accelerate the process for moving projects forward more efficiently and at lower cost.
- Upholds Congress’ constitutional duty to provide for infrastructure and facilitate commerce for the Nation.
LaMalfa spoke on the House floor during general debate in June to urge passage of the bill.
The Richvale, Calif., rice farmer represents California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama counties.
Source: Office of U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa