Cities Applaud Passage of Water Resources Bill

October 28, 2013

By Emily Pickren

The House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Reform and Development bill last week. This bipartisan bill, which NLC actively lobbied Congress to pass, advances many of the flood protection, navigation and ecosystem restoration projects that are important to local governments and our national and local economies. 

NLC advocated for three important provisions that were included in the bill:

  • The Army Corps of Engineers is now required to consult with key state and local stakeholders as part of a study for flood and storm damage reduction related to natural disasters.
  • The Corps must also calculate the national benefits of proposed flood protection projects, including benefits from a reduction in national and regional economic losses.
  • The establishment of a multiagency program to slow the spread of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River Basins and tributaries to support ongoing state and local activities around this issue.

“We are so pleased the House heard our message loud and clear and passed this bill, which will create jobs in our cities, improve the economy by restoring our harbors and ports that are essential to the movement of goods, and protect our environment through important ecosystem restoration projects,” said Clarence Anthony, Executive Director of NLC. “The bill recognizes local government leaders as key partners in efforts to restore the health of our waterways and build the critical infrastructure that supports and protects our communities.”

NLC thanks the bill sponsors Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-NY) for their leadership and support on this important issue for cities. These champions made the bill a priority for the committee and worked to garner broad bipartisan support.

“After the contentious debates of the last few weeks, we are encouraged by the overwhelming and bipartisan support for this bill,” said Anthony.  “We hope this bill will be a model for other measures that will be important to cities and towns in the coming months.  We now urge the House and Senate to expeditiously move to conference committee to resolve differences between the two bills.”