Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 8 the Water Resources Development Act of 2018. Alaska Congressman Don Young, member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, secured numerous provisions in the bill. On the House Floor today, Congressman Young introduced an amendment to address an issue affecting Seward, Alaska which passed by voice vote.
“I appreciate Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio and their staff for their help in getting this amendment to the floor,” said Congressman Young. “This amendment requires the Secretary [of Defense] to conduct an assessment of dams classified as Class III under the Dam Safety Action Classification of the Army Corps of Engineers. Once the assessment is complete, this amendment requires the Secretary [of Defense] to provide a report to Congress describing two things: what will happen to local communities should the Corps give up control of the dam and what will happen if the Corps continues to maintain the dam.”
Watch Congressman Young’s Floor remarks here.
Congressman Young continued, “This amendment is critical to this Alaskan community because it prevents Seward from bearing undue hardships from frequent flooding and continuous damage to the outfall due to unforeseen design faults. This amendment would continue to require the Corps to expedite this study and place a critical importance on fixing the dam system for my constituents.”
“I thank the gentleman from Alaska for offering this amendment,” said T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster. “As always, the gentleman is looking out for the state of Alaska and small and rural towns across America. This is an important issue and I thank my colleague for working on this amendment.”
H.R. 8 passed out of the House by a vote of 408-2 with Congressman Young’s support. The Water Resources Development Act of 2018 (WRDA) represents Congress’ continued investment in vital American infrastructure. This bipartisan legislation provides for improvements to the Nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood protection, ecosystem restoration, and other water resources infrastructure.
Congressman Young secured the following provisions that will:
- Raise the level of the Continuing Authorities Program.
The Corps’ Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) is a group of nine legislative authorities under which the Corps of Engineers can plan, design, and implement certain types of water resources projects without additional project specific congressional authorization.The purpose of the CAP is to plan and implement projects of limited size, cost, scope and complexity.
- Direct the Comptroller General to submit a report to Congress on efforts to relocate Alaska Native villages due to flooding and erosion threats to update a 2009 report.
- Prompt the U.S. Army Corps Engineers to conduct a study and produce a report to discover the best options to improve and expedite the waiver process for projects that are caused by storm damage, coastal erosion and ice and glacial damage.
- Require the Secretary of Defense to conduct an assessment of dams classified as Class III under the Dam Safety Action Classification of the Corps of Engineers.