U.S. Rep. Robert Latta , R-Bowling Green, voted today in favor of moving forward with the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 or WRRDA.
The bill authorizes the key missions of the Army Corps of Engineers, including the development, maintenance and support of the nation’s economically vital waterways and promotes flood protection. The reauthorization also includes “fundamental reforms” to the corps’ planning process, Latta said.
Latta said the act will “help strengthen and maintain our nation’s ports, inland waterways and other water resources infrastructure, promoting America’s competitiveness, prosperity and economic growth.”
The new rules still support the elimination of earmarks, a priority for the GOP.
Latta said the bill also establishes “a new, transparent process for the corps’ projects, with strong Congressional oversight.”
“Especially important to current projects in northwestern Ohio, such as the Blanchard River Flood Risk Management Project, the bill increases flexibility for non-federal interests in regard to Corps’ projects,” Latta said.
The bill will also enable non-federal interests to contribute their own funds to expedite authorized studies and move projects forward. Latta said it also expands the ability of non-federal interests to contribute funds to expedite the evaluation and processing of permits.
“It consolidates or eliminates duplicative or unnecessary studies and requires concurrent reviews by the corps,” said Latta. “In addition, the bill establishes a new, transparent process to review and prioritize water resources development activity with strong Congressional oversight.”