WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today led a committee markup to advance the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA 2022) by a 20-0 vote. The legislation would authorize much-needed investments in the projects and programs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) across the country, including significant investments for Delaware.
“The importance of investing in and revitalizing our water infrastructure cannot be understated. From the waterways that deliver goods to the Port of Wilmington to the beaches protecting our coastal communities, our water resources are core to our way of life,” Senator Carper said. “This year’s reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act would authorize the modification of existing and construction of new, critical Army Corps projects in Delaware and throughout the country — projects that will significantly improve quality of life, create good-paying jobs, and protect communities against the threats of climate change.”
Among its provisions, WRDA 2022 would:
- Update the Corps’ emergency authorities to provide greater support to Delaware’s beaches following hurricanes, Nor’easters, and other damaging storms.
- Authorize the Corps to protect and restore other federal lands, such as those in the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge.
- Designate Delaware as a priority area for the Corps’ implementation of shoreline and riverbank protection and restoration projects.
- Allow non-federal interests in Delaware and throughout the nation to request studies that directly address climate change impacts such as tidal flooding and sea level rise.
- Expand the Corps’ authority to enhance resilience and increase the benefits of shore protection projects in Delaware and across the country during emergency repair and restoration efforts.
- Authorize a new $50 million Corps environmental infrastructure project in Delaware to help improve sewers, stormwater treatment systems, drinking water and other related water infrastructure throughout the state.
- Establish a new Tribal and Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Committee to advise the Corps on ways to more effectively deliver projects, programs, and other assistance to economically disadvantaged communities.
- Reduce the local contribution requirement for economically disadvantaged communities participating in shoreline protection and restoration projects.
- Prioritize assistance to economically disadvantaged communities under the Planning Assistance to States program.
- Authorize a new Corps workforce development and STEM outreach program with priority given to economically disadvantaged communities.
- Help disadvantaged communities participate in the Corps’ projects to elevate homes in flood-prone areas by authorizing payment of temporary relocation benefits.