By: News Channel 25, WPBF
WASHINGTON —President Trump signed into law the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, also known as WRDA.
WRDA includes key provisions secured by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) which authorizes critical U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects related to Everglades restoration, beach renourishment, flood control, navigation, and environmental protection.
The Senate passed the measure, 99-1, on October 10.
“President Trump’s signing of the WRDA is an important step toward solving Florida’s water challenges.” Rubio said. “This water infrastructure bill, which includes key projects that will address Florida’s growing water challenges, authorizes the new EAA Storage Reservoir that will reduce harmful discharges to Florida’s coasts and enhance the promise of Everglades restoration. I thank my colleagues for advancing this bipartisan effort and President Trump for signing it into law.”
Rubio supported provisions included in the 2018 WRDA bill:
• Authorization of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir to be built south of Lake Okeechobee (Section 1308).
• Authorization for St. Lucie County’s Coastal Risk Management Project for beach renourishment of severely eroded shoreline (Subsection 1401(3)).
• Authorization for St. John’s County’s Coastal Storm Risk Management Project in South Ponte Vedra, Vilano and Summer Haven Beaches (Subsection 1401(3)).
• Modified authorization for the Kissimmee River Restoration Project to credit the South Florida Water Management District for in-kind work the Army Corps previously approved (Section 1309).
• Deauthorization of the L-212 Levee, as requested by the St. Johns River Water Management District (Section 1310).
• Language directing the Army Corps to expedite completion of the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule to coincide with completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation (Section 1106).
• Language directing the Army Corps to provide technical assistance when requested and paid for by a non-Federal interest (Section 1152).
• Reauthorization and extension of the non-Federal implementation pilot program to identify cost-saving project delivery alternatives for non-Federal interests to carry out the design and construction of projects for flood risk management, hurricane and storm damage reduction, ecosystem restoration, and coastal harbor and channel and inland harbor navigation (Section 1137).
• Language establishing a process to deauthorize inactive federal projects that are no longer viable for construction (Section 1301); and to extend the period for automatic deauthorization of studies and projects in the 2014 WRDA bill to ensure that complex projects, including several in Florida, that should be implemented in multiple phases over a period of several years, are excluded from a deauthorization (Section 1330).
• Language providing enhanced flexibility for addressing in-kind work in project partnership agreements, which would allow the South Florida Water Management District to secure deserved financial credit for state work on Everglades restoration projects (Section 1147)…