Graves-led Water Resources Bill Includes Important Provisions for North Missouri

June 26, 2024

Graves-led Water Resources Bill Includes Important Provisions for North Missouri

Washington, D.C. - Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO), along with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Rick Larsen (D-WA), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC), and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA) introduced H.R. 8812, the Water Resources Development Act of 2024 (WRDA) earlier this week and it was approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee today. The bill now awaits consideration by the full House.

WRDA authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Civil Works Program for projects to improve the nation’s ports and harbors, inland waterway navigation, flood and storm protection, and other aspects of our water resources infrastructure. These are locally-driven projects that also deliver regional and national benefits for strengthening our global competitiveness and supply chain, growing the economy, moving goods throughout the country, protecting communities from flooding, and more.

“Safe and reliable water infrastructure plays a central role in keeping our economy and supply chain moving, while also protecting life and property. That’s exactly what this bill provides, and that’s why WRDA delivers,” said Chairman Graves. “This bill also makes commonsense reforms to streamline project development processes at the Corps and empower local, non-federal project sponsors, which will allow water resource projects to get done faster and at a lower cost to taxpayers. And with current and expected flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, this legislation couldn’t be more timely for North Missouri. The bill continues to build on efforts to make protecting people’s lives and livelihoods the top priority on the Missouri River, and it charts a long-overdue new path forward to improve flood control on the Upper Mississippi River.”

North Missouri priorities included in WRDA 2024 include:

Expanding protections for levee districts and navigators on the Missouri River to ensure fish and wildlife experiments don’t interfere with flood control and navigation

Authorizing an Upper Mississippi River Flood Risk and Resiliency Study to improve flood protection for communities along the Upper Mississippi River

Reforming the Army Corps of Engineers’ policy for permitting broadband projects on Corps’ property, making it easier to deploy broadband to communities where the Corps owns land, like Smithville, MO

Authorizing the Corps to correct a design deficiency in a flood gate near Riverside, Missouri at full federal expense

Directing the Corps to work more closely with levee districts and others to find beneficial uses for dredged material, so sand is used for strengthening levees, building roadbeds, and other productive uses, rather than being dumped back in the river

Improving the permitting process at the Corps to help projects get done ahead of schedule and under budget.

WRDA 2024 authorizes 159 new feasibility studies for locally proposed projects and 12 projects that have been thoroughly reviewed by the Corps and have culminated in a final report to Congress with approval by the Chief of Engineers or the Director of Civil Works.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has developed and passed WRDA legislation on a bipartisan and biennial basis since 2014. WRDA 2024 maintains the regular consideration of this important infrastructure legislation, and it provides Congress the opportunity for input into the projects undertaken by the Corps.