(Posted Fri. May 13th, 2016)
Yesterday’s overwhelming passage of the Senate’s FY17 Energy and Water Appropriations bill provides record funding for waterways infrastructure. Most notably, the bill includes full use of the estimated revenues going into the Inland Waterways Trust Fund and strong investment in the Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance account.
“In March, NCGA and 19 other ag groups sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee in support of revitalizing our deteriorating inland waterways infrastructure,” commented Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Brent Hostetler. “The Senate bill not only delivered on our request for revenues generated from the diesel fuel tax going into the Waterways Trust Fund, they upped the Army Corps of Engineers’ operations and maintenance account to $3.17 billion which is nearly $467 million higher than the Administration’s request level. The fact that this bill passed with 90 percent of Senate approval in a political climate where cooperation is not the norm, demonstrates the wide support to modernizing our country’s inland waterways infrastructure.”
NCGA will continue to closely monitor the House’s action on their version of the Energy and Water Appropriations bill which also contains strong funding levels for inland waterways.