Issue 287                                                                                                    September 24, 2007


In this issue:

WRDA conference report passes in Senate by wide margin 

 

WRDA conference report passes in Senate by wide margin


We are excited to report that today, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the 2007 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) conference report, with a vote of 81 � 12.All Senators present from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California supported the bill (Sen. Smith was absent).The bill will now head to the President�s desk.In July, the President sent a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) to Congress threatening a veto of the bill.The SAP notes his serious concerns with the size of the bill, which is five years overdue.However, the House has already passed by the measure with a similarly large margin (381-40), and it is hoped that if the President does take the extraordinary step of vetoing the bill, Congress will see fit to override that veto.Veto overrides require a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, and a number of Senators from both parties took to the floor today to promise an override, should a veto materialize.

 

PNWA has sent numerous letters of support to the House and Senate in the past few years, as WRDA has made its way through Congress.PNWA has now sent a message to the White House, expressing the association�s support for the legislation, including specific provisions that affect Northwest stakeholders.The letter to the President is attached, along with a one-page fact sheet highlighting PNWA�s top provisions of interest.

 

The WRDA conference report contains language that will lift operating restrictions from the west coast federal hopper dredges Essayons and Yaquina.This change will enable the Corps of Engineers to utilize these dredges to the maximum extent possible, funding permitting, to maintain Northwest ports, harbors and channels, consistent with the safe and efficient performance of their missions.The bill also contains language to extend Section 214 permit funding authority for another year, to 2009.Several other provisions that are important to PNWA members are included in the conference report, and are noted in the attached document.

 

PNWA is grateful for the efforts of our West Coast Congressional delegation over the years, as various iterations of WRDA were debated and ultimately expired.We are very pleased that this year�s WRDA bill is within sight of the finish line, and we look forward to supporting this legislation until it eventually becomes law.For more information about WRDA, please visit www.pnwa.net and click on �Water Resources Development Act�.

 

 

PNWA Staff Contact: Kristin Meira

 


Pacific Northwest Waterways Association                                          www.pnwa.net

 

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