Online Staff Report
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, Wednesday, May 21, voted in support of legislation to improve the process for rehabbing infrastructure along America’s waterways, enhancing U.S. competitiveness and creating jobs. The bill, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (HR 3080), eliminates red-tape and bureaucratic delays that have bogged down the system for years and held back projects throughout the country.
“This bill is a great example of what Congress can get done by finding common ground to reform an inefficient, bloated system,” said Kinzinger. “By streamlining the process for how our waterways are rehabbed and improved, this bill provides a boost for Illinois famers and manufactures, helping increase our competitiveness on a global scale. I’m glad to see this important legislation get done and I hope Congress can continue to work together like this to tackle some of the other challenges that lie before us.”
Congress last reauthorized water infrastructure legislation in 2007, while projects have languished under long delays and reviews that stretch back years, sometimes even decades. The new process under HR 3080 clears out the backlog of projects and puts in place hard deadlines and a streamlined process to complete waterway projects faster. The bill sets a three-year cap on the time the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has to complete environmental studies, calls for concurrent project reviews to replace the slower, sequential process, and limits the cost of these studies to $3 million, saving taxpayer dollars.
In 2011, over 76.1 million tons of commodities were shipped on Illinois rivers out of the state. The 16th District features a number of lock and dam sites that facilitate this shipping, including sites along the Illinois river at Marseilles, Utica, and Morris.
The bill overwhelmingly passed the House today 412 to 4. It now awaits action in the Senate before it can go to the president’s desk to be signed into law.