evans1editedNow that congressional leaders in both the US Senate and House of Representatives have passed long-awaited Water Resource Development bills, the Senate appointed its conferees: Senators Boxer (CA), Vitter (LA), Baucus (MT), Barrasso (WY), Carper (DE), Inhofe (OK), Cardin (MD), and Whitehouse (RI).

The House appointed its conferees and the first meeting is November 20, but time is very short (they will take the week of Thanksgiving off and expect to adjourn December 13).

The 28 House Conferees are: Shuster (PA), Duncan (TN), Capito (WV), Mille (MI), Hunter (CA), Bucshon (IN), Gibbs (OH), Hanna (NY), Webster (FL), Rice (SC), Mullin (OK), Davis (IL), Rahall (WV, DeFazio (OR), Brown (FL), Johnson (TX), Bishop (NY), Edwards (MD), Garamendi (CA), Hahn (CA), Nolan (MN), Frankel (FL), Bustos (IL), Hastings (WA), and Napolitano (CA).

Following ICWP Position Statements and Strategic Plan, the ICWP Legislation & Policy Committee drafted a letter<WRDA2013ConfCommSupportLetter_ICWP18Nov2013.pdf> that the Board of Directors agreed should be delivered to the Conference Committee supporting provisions for:

  • ·         Acceleration of environmental reviews and permitting;
  • ·         Planning Assistance to States program improvements;
  • ·         Acceptance and use of (non-federal) contributed funds;
  • ·         Dam and levee safety program improvements;
  • ·         Funding for river basin commissions;
  • ·         Navigation improvements; and
  • ·         Regional sediment management improvements.

There are many important elements in the two bills, especially since the last WRDA was approved in 2007so we are hopeful that Congress can complete this effort and we would be pleased to coordinate our communication efforts with ICWP Members and with other organizations.  To that end, ICWP also co-signed a separate letter with the ASFPM, ASCE and others<JointWRDAConfLetterNov19.2013.pdf> supporting the more comprehensive, Senate levee safety program provisions.

For your reference, the CRS provides a summary of S-601<SenateBill601_CRSSummary&Status.pdf> and a summary of HR-3080< HouseBill3080_CRSSummary&Status.pdf >.