McMorris Rodgers Statement on Water Infrastructure

McMorris Rodgers’s Sixth Bill this Congress Becomes Law

Washington, D.C.– Today, President Trump signed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 into law. This water infrastructure legislation will benefit Eastern Washington’s dams, ports, and waterways. It includes several provisions championed by Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, including her sixth bipartisan bill to be signed into law this Congress. The Port of Whitman Economic Expansion Act authorizes a land exchange with the federal government to help meet the needs of the Port of Whitman.

“President Trump just signed another part of our bipartisan infrastructure agenda into law. This one rebuilds our nation’s dams, ports, and waterways,” said McMorris Rodgers. “I’m proud to lead on provisions in this bill to bring jobs and economic development to Whitman County, and to bolster clean, renewable, and reliable hydropower energy in the Pacific Northwest.”

Note: This bill includes a provision from the Congresswoman’s Hydropower Policy Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 3043), which passed the House with bipartisan support in November 2017. The provision, led for years by Cathy, promotes early action, infrastructure, and improvements at non-federal dams. This promotes necessary additions to dams like fish friendly turbines and critical maintenance. Right now, these improvements must be made within a small window of time to count towards a dams’ new license. With this language included, these improvements can be made outside of that window and count towards the next license.

“This legislation Is a great victory for ratepayers. With this legislation in place, utilities across the country will be able to more aggressively make early and sustained investments in their hydro facilities, communities and the environment. We greatly appreciate Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers commitment to hydro and for her great work championing this issue in the House,” said Steve Wright, General Manager, Chelan County Public Utility District.

Also included in the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 is the Congresswoman’s bill, the Port of Whitman Economic Expansion Act. This bill would authorize a land transfer between the Port of Whitman and the Army Corps of Engineers. This will mark the Congresswoman’s sixth bill signed into law this year.

“There are very limited development possibilities in our region with none currently available in Whitman County on or near the river. The Port of Whitman County would like to explore the possibilities of acquiring the East Unit land from USACE to expand economic development opportunities in western Whitman County. We greatly appreciate Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers work in sponsoring our language in the WRDA bill to start these efforts,” said Joe Poire, Executive Director of the Port of Whitman County

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