Washington, DC (WOAY) – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del), along with several colleagues, released the final text of the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022.
WRDA authorizes key projects and studies to address water resources challenges nationwide and supports the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in responding to national and local priorities.
WEST VIRGINIA WINS:
Supports flood control and prevention by:
· Adjusting the cost-share for the Lower Mud River flood control project in Milton, West Virginia, from 65 percent federal and 35 percent nonfederal to 90 percent federal and 10 percent nonfederal.
· Authorizing a feasibility study for rehabilitation of the City of Huntington’s floodwall.
· Authorizing a feasibility study to address broader flooding issues in the City of Huntington, including localized flooding along Fourpole Creek.
·Directing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to expedite completion of the Kanawha River Basin feasibility study for flood control. The study will inform future projects in areas hurt by the 2016 flood.
·Improving USACE’s ability to provide technical assistance and planning services. Reforms will focus attention on watershed planning in flood-impacted communities and identifying debris that contributes to flood events.
·Doubling the maximum amount of funds USACE may contribute to projects for emergency streambank and shoreline protection. This authority supports critical riverbank stabilization projects such as those on the Kanawha River.
· Urging USACE to expedite the completion of the Bluestone Dam rehabilitation project.
Enhances assistance for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater projects by:
· Increasing the authorized funding level for the Section 340 and Section 571 environmental infrastructure programs, which support drinking water and wastewater projects across the state of West Virginia. It also shifts the geographic footprint of these programs to conform to the state’s two congressional districts.
· Expanding the types of assistance offered under the Section 510 environmental assistance program for the Chesapeake Bay to include wastewater and stormwater projects in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.
· Providing nonfederal sponsors greater flexibility in financial accounting for projects under the Section 219 environmental infrastructure program.
Provides USACE with additional authorities to address water resources needs by:
· Authorizing USACE to partner with West Virginia University to conduct academic research on water resources issues that are critical to West Virginia.
· Authorizing USACE to evaluate the feasibility of adding federal or nonfederal hydropower at several dams in West Virginia.
· Directing USACE to develop an implementation plan for enhancing economic development and recreation opportunities at the agency’s facilities in Appalachia.
· Urging USACE to consider alternatives to credit card machines for collecting fees at the agency’s recreation sites and facilities in West Virginia.