May 15 2013
WASHINGTON D.C. –The Senate today adopted, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), a major water resources law that included two amendments offered by U.S. Senator John Boozman.
WRDA contains numerous provisions promoted by Boozman, including language to require project acceleration and efficiency improvements, innovative cost-saving financing options for water projects, improved oversight of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in Arkansas, increased coordination between the Corps and non-federal project sponsors and stakeholders, more reliable maintenance of Arkansas ports on the Mississippi River, and improved levels of service at Corps navigation projects.
The Senate approved a Boozman amendment allowing the Corps to participate in the interagency America the Beautiful Pass program. This allows customers an alternative payment option at federal recreation sites where entrance or amenity fees are charged. The Corps will now be able to distribute and sell the passes and retain a portion of the revenue for park improvements. It would also allow the Corps to distribute Military Passes making it easier for our servicemen and women.
“Allowing the Corps to offer passes to customers will encourage continued use of federal recreation sites. The Corps currently honors the pass for fee discounts but isn’t allowed to distribute them like other land management agencies. This provides consistency at federal recreation sites,” Boozman said.
The Senate also approved the Boozman amendment to improve Corps billing statements to help communities, towns and rural water associations anticipate maintenance charges and other costs associated with water supply storage.
“Our communities are responsibly planning for the future to provide safe and reliable sources of water for their citizens. Often times they are faced with surprising cost increases because of unplanned charges. We can prevent and make the bill more predictable by improving cost transparency to water users,” Boozman said.WRDA improves our nation’s water resources policy to expand opportunity, promote commerce, and reduce flood risks. Boozman is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee which has jurisdiction over this legislation.