LaMalfa: Bill will provide stability to water infrastructure

The House unanimously passed S. 3021, America’s Water Infrastructure Act.

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will help to provide continued stability and new development for NorCal water and flood control infrastructure, while outdated Army Corps of Engineers projects will be phased out in favor of newer and more beneficial projects.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.

 

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