US water resources development legislation edges forward

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has welcomed news that the US House Senate conference committee has completed negotiations and has issued its report on the long awaited and much needed water resources development legislation.

The basis of the proposed legislation is that it:
• Establishes a pathway to full use of the Harbour Maintenance Tax (HMT)
• Addresses HMT donor equity
• Modernises the maintenance dredging cost share threshold
• Authorises new navigation channel improvements
• Expedites the US Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation channel study completion process
• Quickens the pace of project completions by enhancing partnerships

“Having waited seven long years since passage of the last water resources authorisation bill, our US member ports are extremely pleased to see a final reauthorisation bill,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle. “Our nation desperately needs this water resources legislation to fortify our infrastructure, create and maintain good paying US jobs, grow our economy and enhance America’s international competitiveness.”

Summarising, Mr. Nagle said, “America’s public ports, which create jobs for more than 13 million people and handle 99.4% of the tonnage of our nation’s overseas trade, together with their private sector partners are investing over $9 billion annually in marine terminal infrastructure. We look forward to Congressional passage and President Obama signing this legislation, which will make important policy reforms and authorise badly needed maintenance and improvements to waterside connections with seaports.”

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