Critical Waterways Infrastructure Bill Moves Forward; Includes Important Lipinski Amendments (May 27, 2016)

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, including Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3), has passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016.  The bill authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop and maintain America’s vital water infrastructure, including the locks and dams that mitigate flooding and facilitate commerce in Northeastern Illinois. 

Before final approval, two amendments authored by Rep. Lipinski were added to the bill.  The first requires the Corps of Engineers to coordinate with local water agencies during the planning of navigation or ecosystem projects so that water supply or storm water management efforts can be considered and integrated into the Corps’ work.  Lipinski is currently co-chair of the Clean Water Caucus, which focuses on cutting-edge technologies and innovative techniques and approaches to keeping our water clean.

Lipinski’s second amendment requires the Corps of Engineers to publish an annual report on the amount of foreign goods they are procuring for use in civil works construction projects.  Not only do American taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent, but it allows domestic manufacturers to analyze the Corps’ needs and find ways to work with them to keep American manufacturing competitive.

“This legislation invests in one of our greatest resources, our vast transportation network served by ships and barges,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “It modernizes critical parts of this network, which will help lead to economic growth and middle-class jobs for the Third District and the nation.”

WRDA authorizes 28 infrastructure projects, including flood mitigation measures along the Des Plaines River.  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved their Water Resources bill in April.  The bill approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee now moves to the full House for a vote.