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Senate bill ups funding for Corps of Engineers waterways work

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JULY 24, 2017 — Waterways Council, Inc. reports that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the FY 2018 Energy & Water Development (E&WD), and Related Agencies appropriations bill.

It significantly increases FY 2018 funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Program above the Administration’s budget proposal for FY18.

The Corps’ overall funding level in the Senate bill is $6.2 billion, $190 million above the FY2017 enacted level and $1.2 billion above the President’s budget request.

The bill:

Provides full-use of estimated annual revenues from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) for the fourth consecutive year that could fund priority projects if the Administration allocates funding in the Corps’ FY18 work plan. The President’s FY18 budget requested appropriations only for Olmsted at $175 million, the same level as the Senate.

Allocates a record $3.481 billion to Operations & Maintenance, which is $381.475 million more than the President’s FY18 budget request

Provides $1.703 billion, plus a rescission of $35 million from prior years, to the Construction account, which is $648.150 million more than the President’s FY18 request

Allocates $113.465 million to the Investigations account, which is $27.465 more than the President’s FY18 request

Hits the WRDA-set Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund target again at $1.34 billion

Provides $700 million above the President’s budget request for construction of river and harbor, flood storm damage reduction, shore protection, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and related projects authorized by law

Allocates $375 million to Mississippi River & Tributaries (MR&T), which is $122 million more than the President’s FY18 budget request

Waterways Council President Michael J. Toohey offered thanks to Senate Appropriations Committee leaders and to Senate E&WD Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for their strong bi-partisan work.

“Restoring the 17% cut to the Corps’ FY 18 budget as proposed by the Administration in its budget request, and proposing full-use of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund annual revenues, benefits American consumers and workers — farmers, steel producers, manufacturers and transporters,” Mr. Toohey said.

Waterways Council, Inc. is a national public policy organization advocating for a modern and well-maintained national system of ports and inland waterways. The group is supported by waterways carriers, shippers, port authorities, agriculture, labor and conservation organizations, shipping associations and waterways advocacy groups from all regions of the country.

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