LIGHTNING RELEASES: ALEXANDRIA, Va. (5/22/2014) — Following the 412-4 vote in the U.S. House on Tuesday and the 91-7 vote in the U.S. Senate today, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is trumpeting full Congressional approval of the long-awaited and critically-needed water resources development legislation known as H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, or simply WRRDA.
Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and CEO, applauded U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and David Vitter (R-LA), chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, for their bipartisan leadership in advancing the water resources bill through the Senate.
At its annual Spring Conference in March, AAPA bestowed jointly on Sen. Boxer and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) its “Port Person of the Year” award, although both postponed accepting their awards until after Congress passed the final water resources bill.
“Now these two highly respected congressional committee leaders can accept the awards that are very much their due,” said Mr. Nagle.
Many of AAPA’s recommended policy priorities are addressed in the WRRDA legislation that will become law after President Obama signs it. A number of provisions are intended to streamline project study and delivery processes and allow more flexibility to ports that want to provide funding to advance navigation-related studies and projects. The legislation also modernizes cost-share requirements, sets a path for full use of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) and provides more equity for HMT donors.
“This legislation benefits every single American because it will help produce a more efficient maritime infrastructure that strengthens our position as a global trade leader, which will, in turn, boost America’s economy, create good jobs and aid in protecting our environment,” said Mr. Nagle. “AAPA thanks the bipartisan leadership in Congress and urges swift enactment by the President.”
Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 150 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 250 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. As a critical link for access to the global marketplace, each year Western Hemisphere seaports generate $8.6 trillion of economic activity, support the employment of tens of millions of people and import and export more than 7.8 billion tons of cargo including food, clothing, medicine, fuel and building materials, as well as consumer electronics and toys. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable. For more information, visit www.aapa-ports.org.
~Seaports Deliver Prosperity~