US Senate Adopts Navigation Maintenance Bill

America’s coastal and inland navigation waterways have received new maintenance funding with the adoption of the fiscal 2017 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.

The bill, which funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigation program, includes USD 1.3 billion for Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT)-funded work, USD 37 million above the fiscal 2016 funding level and USD 160 million above the HMT funding target for the year that was established in the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014.

Adopted by a vote of 90-8, the bill is the first fiscal 2017 appropriations legislation to pass the Senate.

It also includes new navigation study and construction starts, as well as funding Donor and Energy Transfer Ports at USD 50 million, which is double last year’s funding level and the full amount authorized in WRRDA 2014.

“This is extremely important legislation that will aid our economy and environment, and the ability of America’s ports to handle increasingly larger cargo and passenger ships,” AAPA President and CEO, Kurt Nagle, said.

“It reflects substantial advocacy by AAPA and our member seaports to appropriate crucial funding to maintain and improve our nation’s navigation infrastructure and provide more donor equity.”

The House of Representatives version of this bill, which passed out of the Appropriations Committee last month, is awaiting floor action.

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