Rep. Lipinski Calls Water Transportation Bill a Victory for District and Nation (May 20, 2014)
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is applauding a rare bipartisan victory in Washington as the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), which funds maintenance and modernization of our nation’s inland waterways and ports, was passed today in the House of Representatives. A long time in the making, the bill addresses many issues that Lipinski has been working on, including language he added barring the Army Corps from dumping dredged materials from the Cal-Sag Channel at the Lucas-Berg Confined Placement Facility in Worth.
“Since I was first elected to Congress, one of my top local priorities has been to remove Lucas-Berg as the Army Corps’ designated site for dumping dredged materials from the Cal-Sag,” Rep. Lipinski said. “I am very happy that I was able to work with my colleagues to get this language into the WRRDA that will soon become law. This is very good news for the Village of Worth and local residents. I know what a great gem the Lucas Berg Nature Preserve is to so many people. I will continue to work with the Army Corps to find a place for the dredged materials that is not so close to homes, businesses, and parks.”
Although not as obvious as roads and rails, America’s inland waterways are essential to moving freight and commodities, and therefore are critical to growing our economy. Locally, the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal and the Cal-Sag Channel are important economic engines in southwest Cook and Will Counties. This bill will help make much-needed improvements on these waterways. Recently Congressman Lipinski announced that the Army Corps is going to spend nearly $12 million on the Lockport Lock in order to protect the community from possible flooding and to keep the lock functioning for commerce. This bill will facilitate more projects such as this.
The WRRDA bill also includes language that requires the use of American-made iron and steel when work is being done on locks, dams, and ports. The strengthening of Buy-American laws continues to be a top priority for Lipinski.
In addition, the bill addresses the Asian carp situation by improving the multi-agency collaboration necessary for controlling the spread of the invasive species that threatens our Great Lakes.
“This bill invests in one of our greatest resources, our vast waterways transportation network,” said Rep. Lipinski. “It brings critical parts of this network into the 21st century, which will lead to economic growth and middle class jobs for the Third Congressional District and the nation.”
The bill also approves several flood-prevention projects that benefit the entire nation, and authorizes the deepening of U.S. ports, opening up more transportation and commerce opportunities for larger ships.