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September 13
WRDA Bill Introduced in House

On September 11, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) jointly unveiled a version of the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), slightly changing the title to the Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA). WRDA is a bi-annual bill, last authorized in 2007, which authorizes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) projects for water resources, environmental, structural, navigational and flood protection, and also contains policy directives. At the beginning of the 113th Congress, Congressional leaders in both the Senate and House pledged their support for introduction and passage of a new WRDA bill but differed on the mechanism for reauthorization.

The House WRRDA measure (H.R. 3080) contains no earmarks and establishes a process for project approvals through Congressional review. This language differs from the WRDA bill (S. 601) that passed in the Senate in mid-May, which gives the Corps sole authority over what projects should move forward. The House bill deauthorizes $12 billion of inactive projects (those with no activity for the past five years); allows non-federal partners to contribute funding to move studies, projects and permits; streamlines the permitting process; preserves the Inland Waterways Trust Fund; expands the use of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, among other things. A section-by-section summary is available, as is a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee document describing the importance of WRRDA. 

The House bill addresses many of the provisions important to counties, such as levee and dam safety; vegetation management around levees; Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, and non-federal partner leads in implementing studies and projects. NACo’s letter on the House bill can be viewed here.


The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee plans to hold a mark-up on WRRDA on Sept. 19 with House floor debate potentially scheduled in October.

Contact: Julie Ufner at or 202.942.4269


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