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Multi-Industry Letter supporting H.R. 3080, the "Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 8:00pm

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The undersigned organizations urge you to move forward on H.R. 3080, the “Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA),” as soon as practicable. Long overdue, a new WRRDA bill would reform and authorize U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army Corps) Civil Works programs and policies related to navigation, flood risk management, recreation, infrastructure and environmental stewardship.

This legislation would be an important step toward providing critical economic benefits to the nation, its people and businesses. Strategic investments in the nation’s navigation network have a dramatic direct-employment effect on the hardest hit segment of the economy—construction—while simultaneously delivering substantial benefits to the country’s global competitiveness. Based on a 2012 report conducted by the Associated Equipment Distributors, one dollar spent on infrastructure construction produces roughly double ($1.92) the initial spending in direct and indirect economic output. The long-term impact is also significant, with a dollar in aggregate public infrastructure spending generating $3.21 in economic output (GDP) over a 20-year period.

Maintaining our nation’s Federal channels to constructed dimensions and deepening channels to ensure the U.S. continues to have a world-class maritime transportation system are of critical importance to the health of the port and barge industries and the businesses and jobs that rely on them. International trade accounts for more than a quarter of the nation’s GDP and more than 38 million American jobs.

The United States needs to create a modern lock and dam infrastructure on the nation’s inland waterways. Effectively, all of America’s exports in commodities such as coal, fuel oils, gasoline, crude petroleum, and agriculture products such as grain and soy beans are shipped by water. Waterways are critical to keeping our domestic supply chain competitive. There is a $14-per-ton cost savings for shipping on the inland waterways; this translates to farmer, shipper, and consumer cost savings, and reduced congestion on the roads and rails. However, while the private sector constantly updates its operations, our 21st century economy relies on 1930s-era technology for locks and dams.

Levees got a D- in the most recent American Society of Civil Engineers report card. A WRDA reauthorization bill should improve the safety of the nation’s dams and levees that protect communities, farms, manufacturing facilities and assets.

H.R. 3080 would deliver reforms and policies that would speed the Army Corps project delivery process, prioritize investments, provide resilience, protect communities, and keep faith with the Constitutional responsibility for supporting interstate commerce. Together, these results would create and sustain jobs and support the nation’s economy.

While a bill addressing a range of water issues and policies is not without some controversy, the United States should not miss opportunities to spur economic growth, improve our global competitiveness, and create jobs. We urge the House to move forward with consideration of a new WRRDA bill—the time to act is now.

Sincerely,

AGRIServices of Brunswick, LLC
American Electric Power River Operations
American Apparel & Footwear Association
American Association of Port Authorities
American Commercial Lines
American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Iron and Steel Institute
American Public Works Association
American Society of Civil Engineers
Arkansas Red River Commission/State of Arkansas
Arkansas Waterways Commission
Ashland Pharmacy
Associated Equipment Distributors
Associated General Contractors of Alabama
Associated General Contractors of Alaska
Associated General Contractors of Arizona
Associated General Contractors of Arkansas
Associated General Contractors of America
Associated General Contractors of California
Associated General Contractors of Carolinas
Associated General Contractors of Central Illinois
Associated General Contractors of Colorado
Associated General Contractors of Connecticut
Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee
Associated General Contractors of Georgia
Associated General Contractors of Greater Florida
Associated General Contractors of Hawaii
Associated General Contractors of Idaho
Associated General Contractors of Illinois
Associated General Contractors of Iowa
Associated General Contractors of Kansas
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky
Associated General Contractors of Las Vegas
Associated General Contractors of Louisiana
Associated General Contractors of Maine
Associated General Contractors of Maryland
Associated General Contractors of Metropolitan Washington DC
Associated General Contractors of Michigan
Associated General Contractors of Minnesota
Associated General Contractors of Mississippi
Associated General Contractors of Mississippi Valley
Associated General Contractors of Missouri
Associated General Contractors of Montana
Associated General Contractors of Nebraska
Associated General Contractors of Nevada
Associated General Contractors of New Hampshire
Associated General Contractors of New Jersey
Associated General Contractors of New Mexico
Associated General Contractors of New York State
Associated General Contractors of North Dakota
Associated General Contractors of Oregon – Columbia
Associated General Contractors of South Dakota
Associated General Contractors of South Florida
Associated General Contractors of St. Louis
Associated General Contractors of Tennessee
Associated General Contractors of Texas
Associated General Contractors of Utah
Associated General Contractors of Vermont
Associated General Contractors of Virginia
Associated General Contractors of Washington
Associated General Contractors of Western Kentucky
Associated General Contractors of West Virginia
Associated General Contractors of Western Pennsylvania
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Association of Ship Brokers and Agents
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association
Ben Dyer Associates, Inc.
Big River Coalition
Blue Valley Industrial Association
Buffalo Niagara Partnership
Calcasieu River Waterway Harbor Safety Committee
Canal Barge Company
Caterpillar Inc.
Clay & Bailey Manufacturing Company
Clearwater Hydrology
Columbiana County Port Authority
DSC Dredge, LLC
Everglades Trust
Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce
General Building Contractors Association
Granite Construction Incorporated
Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition
Greater Cleveland Partnership
Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce
Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association
HNTB Corporation
Holcim (US), Inc.
Illinois Farm Bureau
Ingram Barge Company
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Seaway Task Force Coalition)
International Liquid Terminals Association
International Propeller Club of the United States
Iowa Corn Growers Association
Jeffboat, LLC
John Deere
Kansas City Industrial Council
Lake Carriers' Association
Louisiana Maritime Association
Maersk, Inc.
Maritime Exchange for the Delware River and Bay
Marquette Transportation Company, LLC
Mid-America Intermodal Port
Missouri and Associated Rivers Coalition (MOARC)
Missouri Port Authority Association
Mississippi Water Resources Association
National Association of Maritime Organizations
National Grain and Feed Association
National Levee Issues Alliance
National Marine Manufacturers Association
National Retail Federation
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
National Waterways Conference, Inc.
NCI Building Systems, Inc.
Ohio Contractors Association
Oldcastle, Inc.
Olsson Associates
Pacific Northwest Waterways Association
Port of Galveston
Port of Portland
Port of Virginia
Portland Cement Association
Ports Association of Louisiana
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce
R. M. Foti Engineering
Red River Waterway Commission
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Southern Illinois Builders Association
St. Charles Parish Government
St. James Parish Government
The Fertilizer Institute
The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Fairness Coalition
The National Industrial Transportation League
The Propeller Club of the U.S. Port of New Orleans
The Water Resource Coalition
The Waterways Journal, Inc.
Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Virginia Maritime Association
Waterfront Coalition
Waterways Council, Inc.
World Trade Center New Orleans