Lipinski Helps House Pass Water Infrastructure Bill to Boost Economy and Protect the Environment (December 8, 2016)
Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) helped the House pass the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WINN), formerly known as the Water Resources Development Act or WRDA. The bill authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop and maintain America’s vital inland water infrastructure, including the locks and dams that mitigate flooding and facilitate commerce along the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal which runs through the Third Congressional District. It also contains a number of important provisions Lipinski supported to help clean up the Great Lakes and prevent the spread of invasive species.
In addition, the bill includes an amendment led by Rep. Lipinski in the House Transportation Committee that 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 my amendment allows domestic manufacturers to analyze the Corps’ needs and find ways to work with them to keep American manufacturing competitive,” said Rep. Lipinski. “Overall, WIIN invests in one of our greatest resources, our vast transportation network served by ships and barges. It modernizes critical parts of this network, which will help lead to economic growth and middle-class jobs for the district and the nation.”
The bill also includes legislation Lipinski co-sponsored to reauthorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which enables projects that clean up the Great Lakes basin, restore habitat, and prevent the spread of invasive species. Additionally, the bill sets aside money for the Great Lakes Navigation System to improve harbors.
As Co-Chair of the Buy American Caucus, Lipinski worked to include a permanent Buy America provision in the bill that would apply to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF).
“Unfortunately, we were only able to get a one year application of Buy America requirements to the drinking water fund in the final bill,” stated Lipinski. “Next Congress I will continue to push for permanent Buy America language for this fund to give a boost to American manufacturing and the middle class.”
Lipinski also led a provision which directs the Corps of Engineers to expedite completion of the McCook reservoir flood control project and enables agencies like the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to leverage credit for projects they construct on the Corps’ behalf for future infrastructure projects. This will help alleviate local flooding problems.
Finally, WIIN directs $170 million to improve drinking water infrastructure in places such as Flint, MI.