Bipartisan legislation will help keep invasive carp out of Minnesota’s waterways, ensure the long-term viability of the inland waterway system, including the Mississippi River, address port and harbor maintenance on the Great Lakes, and advance key flood protection projects
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced today that the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) has passed the Senate and will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The final legislation contains several key provisions Klobuchar fought to include that will help strengthen Minnesota’s water infrastructure and economy. The bipartisan agreement will help keep invasive carp out of Minnesota’s waterways, ensure the long-term viability of the inland waterway system, including the Mississippi River, address port and harbor maintenance on the Great Lakes, and advance key flood protection projects.
“Today’s strong, bipartisan vote is a huge victory for Minnesota’s waterways and our entire economy,” Klobuchar said. “I fought hard to include provisions that will help keep invasive carp out of our rivers, advance important flooding and water infrastructure projects, and address the dredging backlog on the Great Lakes. This bipartisan bill will protect our waterways, improve our infrastructure, and strengthen our economy, and now goes to the President to be signed into law.”
Klobuchar successfully worked to include a number of provisions in the final bill to support Minnesota’s water infrastructure:
Helps keep invasive carp out of Minnesota’s waterways:
The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) includes a provision to help keep invasive carp out of Minnesota’s waterways. The provision, authored by Klobuchar in the Senate and led by Representative Keith Ellison in the House, will help fight the spread of invasive carp – also known as Asian carp – by closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock within one year.
Ensures dredging and maintenance of the Port of Duluth-Superior and addresses the dredging backlog on the Great Lakes:
The final legislation ensures dredging and maintenance at the Port of Duluth-Superior and addresses the dredging backlog on the Great Lakes system. The legislation, which Klobuchar worked on with Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), ensures the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is used for maintaining the constructed widths and depths of commercial ports and harbors, which includes dredging on the Great Lakes. Currently, while the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund has a balance of more $5.7 billion, the fund isn’t being fully used to address critical maintenance needs of harbors and ports. The backlog of sediment due to insufficient dredging on the Great Lakes is more than 18 million cubic yards and is estimated to cost $200 million.
Advances Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project:
The final legislation includes a provision that authorizes the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project to move from the planning, engineering and design phase to the construction phase. Klobuchar has spoken with the President to push for more funding for the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Project and has met with local officials in the Fargo-Moorhead region to assess flood preparation efforts and discuss permanent flood protection.
Authorizes funding for the Roseau flood diversion project and Marsh Lake ecosystem restoration project:
The final legislation includes provisions supported by Klobuchar and championed by Representative Collin Peterson in the House to authorize funding for the Roseau flood diversion project and the Marsh Lake ecosystem restoration project, ensuring that the Roseau flood diversion project can be completed and that the Marsh Lake ecosystem restoration project can move forward. While Roseau's project was included in the Army Corps of Engineers Work plan in March, the provisions included in the final legislation will help keep the project on track if there are construction delays due to weather or other circumstances.
Funds important construction projects for inland waterways:
The final water infrastructure bill includes provisions similar to legislation Klobuchar cosponsored — the River Act — which would help fund critical water construction projects, including rehabilitation of the locks and dams on the Mississippi River and also includes improvements to the project delivery process. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, inefficiencies in infrastructure are expected to drive up the cost of doing business by an estimated $430 billion in the next decade.
Broadcast-quality video of Klobuchar’s remarks on the bill is available here.