NGFA Commends Congress For Passing Waterways Legislation

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) commended Congress for passing waterways legislation that would expedite U.S. lock and dam modernization.

The Senate approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022 on Dec. 15, sending WRDA to the president for signature. The House approved the legislation on Dec. 8.

The final WRDA 2022 makes permanent a 2020 change in the cost-share formula for inland waterway construction projects to 35 percent from the general Treasury fund and 65 percent from the Inland Waterway Trust Fund. The new WRDA removes a provision that would sunset the 65-35 cost-share back to 50-50 in 10 years.

The bill, which authorizes more than $37 billion in federal funds for inland waterways projects, was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Importantly, the bipartisan deal neither authorizes nor paves the way for the breach or removal of dams in the Columbia-Snake River System, which is the third largest grain export corridor in the world.

“American agriculture’s competitive advantage depends upon the reliability and cost-effectiveness of the national transportation system. The permanent change in the waterways cost-share formula passed by Congress this week will expedite the modernization of U.S. locks and dams and provide certainty for agriculture and other waterways stakeholders,” NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert said.

“We thank House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Chairman Peter DeFazio D-OR.; Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairman Tom Carper, D-DE.; EPW Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV.; and T&I Ranking Member Sam Graves, R-MO., for reaching a bipartisan compromise on this important legislation.

"NGFA and its members commend Congress for undertaking the WRDA process every two years to examine policies and projects that enhance and promote the utilization of this critical mode of transportation.”