WASHINGTON, D.C.—House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after the House passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2020:
“I’m glad the House passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA) today. This WRDA bill strengthens flood protection critical to families and communities in Southeast Louisiana and improves the navigation essential for the economic stability of Louisiana and the entire country.
“I, along with other Members of our Congressional Delegation, fought hard to secure reforms that will ensure that Louisiana families are not on the hook for bloated tabs when necessary flood protection and coastal restoration projects aren’t delivered by the Army Corps of Engineers in a timely and affordable manner.
“This bill also includes provisions I fought for to enhance our ability to move commerce on our waterways through authorizations for deepening Baptiste Collette, the Houma Navigation Canal, and Port Fourchon Belle Pass. It also authorizes a study for the Tangipahoa River that will produce necessary solutions for flooding in the region. Overall, this legislation strengthens Louisiana’s position as a leading export state and a top producer of our nation’s oil and natural gas supply, and I’m glad Congress is supporting the infrastructure so critical to our state and nation.”
The 2020 House WRDA bill includes a number of provisions that benefit flood protection and waterway navigation in Louisiana’s First District, including:
- HSDRRS Renegotiation – Language that allows the State to renegotiate the terms of the deferred payment agreement for the hurricane protection system around New Orleans, which has experienced significant delays. Options for renegotiation include forgiveness of interest, recalculation of the interest rate, credit for investments made by the non-federal sponsor, and allowing the State’s contribution to be made without interest.
- Tangipahoa Flood Study – Authorization of a feasibility study for flood risk management in Tangipahoa Parish.
- Baptiste Collette Deepening Authorization – Authorizes the deepening of Baptiste Collette from current depths of 14 feet in the inner reach and 16 feet in the outer reach to depths of 22 and 24 feet respectively.
- Port Fourchon Belle Pass Deepening Authorization – Authorizes the deepening Of Belle Pass to provide access to the port’s planned deep-water facility for rig repair and refurbishment.
- Houma Navigation Canal Deepening Authorization – Authorizes the deepening of the Houma Navigation Canal from 15ft to 20ft.