|Emsworth Locks and Dam on Ohio River |
immediately downstream of Pittsburgh, PA
WRDA is the massive public works bill that periodically authorizes flood control, navigation, and water resource environmental projects and studies by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and both the Senate Environment and Public Works, and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees have placed passage of WRDA as one of their top priorities for 2013. The House T&I Committee has started to hold a series of "listening sessions" to gather input on what stakeholders want to see in WRDA. Feedback from committee staff indicates that there may be an effort to "streamline" the National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Impact Statement (NEPA EIS) process in that Committee's version of the bill. T&I Committee Chair Bill Shuster has said that he can't see WRDA being easily crafted with the Congressional block on earmarks in place.
POLITICO reported before the release of the draft bill that EPW Committee member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) expected that “there will be (Committee) consensus” on the bill, and that it would, in part, address the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund in a manner that allowing the “money put in the fund should be used for the purpose in which it’s intended.”
The March 20 Committee business meeting during which it will mark up the bill is scheduled for 10 AM (EDT), in the EPW Hearing Room - room 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building.