Citing it as a major victory for ports, the American Association of Port Authorities is hailing passage in the U.S. House today of H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). The U.S. Senate will vote on the bill this Thursday, where easy passage is expected.
House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), a major WRRDA champion, cited the bill for cutting red tape, strengthening trade and creating jobs.
AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said, “We’re extremely pleased that WRRDA passed the House today. The overwhelming 412-4 vote indicates strong bipartisan support and recognition of the critical need to better maintain and improve our seaports to enhance America’s international competitiveness.”
Mr. Nagle further noted that this legislation “is a major victory for ports as it includes numerous AAPA policy priorities, including the need to modernize cost-share requirements and set a path to full use of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT).”
Another aspect of the bill provides more equity for HMT donor ports. The bill allows for expanded uses when spending increases and authorizes a separate program for HMT donor and energy ports.
Numerous other AAPA policy recommendations are included under the reform title of the bill. Many of these provisions are intended to streamline project study and delivery processes and allow more flexibility to ports that want to provide funding to advance navigation-related studies and projects.
Port Name: American Association of Port Authorities
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Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 160 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 300 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. As a critical link for access to the global marketplace, each year, Western Hemisphere seaports generate trillions of dollars of economic activity, support the employment of millions of people and, in 2008, imported and exported more than 7.8 billion tons of cargo, valued at $8.6 trillion, including food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, as well as consumer electronics and toys. The volume of cargo shipped by water is expected to dramatically increase by 2020 and the number of passengers traveling through our seaports will continue to grow. To meet these demands, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable.