Menendez, Booker: New Legislation Will Boost Investment in NJ Water Infrastructure

Menendez, Booker: New Legislation Will Boost Investment in NJ Water Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) applauded Senate passage today of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Conference Report which authorizes billions of dollars in new investments in our nation's water infrastructure, and include several key initiatives for New Jersey. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this week and will now be sent to the President for his signature.

"With this legislation, we can boost New Jersey's economy, make our coastal communities more resilient to storm damage and flooding, restore critical aquatic ecosystems, and help strengthen and maintain our ports and other water infrastructure," said Sen. Menendez."I'm incredibly pleased that bipartisan progress prevailed over partisan gridlock to pass a bill that will significantly benefit the residents of our great State."

"The passage of WRDA is exciting news.As Senator Lautenberg recognized when he became an early champion of this legislation, this is a bill that will advance our long-term recovery efforts and enable us to make critical investments in New Jersey's water infrastructure and ecosystems. " said Sen. Booker." I am encouraged by the bill's swift passage in both the House and Senate and look forward to celebrating with New Jerseyans when the President signs this bill into law."

WRDA contains several provisions that would directly impact New Jersey, including:

  • Requiring the Army Corps of Engineers to make specific project recommendations to Congress regarding damage reduction options based on the results of a study funded through the Sandy disaster relief act.
  • Prioritization of Army Corps of Engineers projects with a primary purpose of hurricane and storm damage risk reduction.
  • Improvements to the Army Corps of Engineers' ability to respond to and rebuild after a natural disaster.
  • Clarifications that the Corps can rebuild a project to design conditions, rather than pre-disaster conditions, to ensure that resources are not expended to restore inadequate levels of protection.
  • Reforms to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) to increase the use of the fund for maintenance dredging of federal navigable channels, its intended purpose. Historically, funds have been diverted from the HMTF in order to offset unrelated costs.
  • Allowing the Raritan River Basin, Green Brook Sub Basin flood control project to be fully implemented.
  • An extension of the federal support for beach nourishment for authorized for up to 15 years beyond the current 50 year limit.
  • The creation of a regional program to plan, design, and construct small projects for aquatic ecosystem restoration within the coastal waters of the Northeastern United States from Virginia to Maine.

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Press Contact

Tricia_Enright@menendez.senate.gov
(202)224-4744