Water Resources Development Act Passes Senate Committee, Kennedy Wins Louisiana – Press releases

WASHINGTON — The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) with key provisions for Louisiana that Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) negotiated successfully in the bill. The 2022 WRDA package now awaits a vote in the full Senate.

“With the crucial provisions we negotiated for our state, the WRDA would help restore South Louisiana’s ecosystems and ensure important Army Corps of Engineers projects are completed sooner,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy fought to include in the WRDA several measures that would expedite Army Corps of Engineers projects in Louisiana and a provision that would significantly reduce Louisiana’s cost share to perform ecosystem restoration in areas. degraded by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) shipping channel.

The MRGO shipping channel was closed after Hurricane Katrina, but the state has yet to restore habitats damaged by the channel. Louisiana normally covers 35% of the cost of Corps of Engineers projects, while the federal government covers 65%. The WRDA provision that Kennedy helped negotiate increases the federal share of the MRGO restoration to 90% of the cost of the project.

Other Kennedy victories in the WRDA include leading the Corps of Engineers to:

  • Resume operation, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of the Algiers Canal levees at federal expense.
  • Prioritize the Louisiana Coastal Zone project.
  • Accelerate the completion of coastal storm risk management studies in St. Tammany Parish and the south-central Louisiana coast.
  • Mandate a low-cost, environmentally friendly plan to dispose of dredged material as part of the Port Fourchon Belle Pass channel deepening project. This plan could allow Louisiana to start this project sooner than the alternative plans and allow the state to use the dredged material to create additional wetlands.

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